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Mayflower Compact - Original Document

Mayflower Compact - Original Document American History Social Studies Famous Historical Events Famous People Government Law and Politics

This is an image of the original Mayflower Compact which men aboard ship agreed-to before they disembarked.  It sets forth the system of government they would follow after they went ashore.

Historians believe this document is the first self-governing agreement which Europeans made after reaching the shores of the New World.  Interestingly, eight American presidents are signer-descendants.  They are:  John Adams; John Quincy Adams; Zachary Taylor; Ulysses S. Grant; James A. Garfield; Franklin D. Roosevelt; George H.W. Bush; and George W. Bush.

To better understand the Compact, note that "y" also stands for "t" (so "ye" means "the") and "v" also stands for "u" (so "vnderwriten" means "underwritten").  Its transcription is:

In ye name of God Amen · We whose names are vnderwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soueraigne Lord King James by ye grace of God, of great Britaine, franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c Haueing vndertaken, for ye glorie of God, and aduancemente of ye christian ^faith and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia · doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, couenant, & combine our selues togeather into a ciuill body politick; for ye our better ordering, & preseruation & fur=therance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & conuenient for ye generall good of ye colonie: vnto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes wherof we haue herevnder subscribed our names at Cap=Codd ye ·11· of Nouember, in ye year of ye raigne of our soueraigne Lord king James of England, france, & Ireland ye eighteenth and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom ·1620.

Click on the image to examine it in much closer detail.


Media Credits

Image, U.S. National Archives.

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Mayflower Compact - Original Document" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 18, 2020.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Mayflower-Compact-Original-Document/1>.
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