Mayflower Compact, 1620



In the fall of 1620 a group of thirty-five separations from the Church of England, known as Pilgrims, and seventy non-Pilgrims set out on the ship, Mayflower, for the mouth of the Hudson River. Because of weather and currents, the ship ended up in what is now Cape Cod. The Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact as a set of laws to be followed until a legal charter could be obtained from England.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Religious Institutions Group

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame,such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.”

Source: The Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in New England, in 1620 (George B. Cheever ed., 1848).