The Mayflower Compact

As I have been thinking of Thanksgiving today the Mayflower Compact has also come to mind.

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony and was composed and signed while the Mayflower was anchored in what is today Provincetown Harbor.

Provincetown Harbor, Massachusetts, Cape Cod,

If you look closely you will see a marker for the Pilgrim Monument on the map.

Provincetown Harbor, Mayflower Compact, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

Here is a broader view that shows that Provincetown Harbor is way out at the end of Cape Cod.

Plymouth, Provincetown, Cape Cod

I decided to see how far Provincetown was from Plymouth which was their final destination. It is about 27 miles, or approximately how far I drive to work every day.

Below is a rendering in modern English of the Mayflower Compact.

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 Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor 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 another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; 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 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.

The Mayflower Compact was signed by 41 of the passengers of the Mayflower including my ancestor George Soule. See: Mayflower Ancestry

One interesting fact is that George Soule was a servant of Edward Winslow. Since he was a servant it was unlikely that he would have signed the compact as he would have been under a contract to Winslow. However, he was a signer so it must have been a special circumstance.

Unfortunately the original Mayflower Compact has been lost to time. The last known location was in Plymouth, but most likely it was sent back to England on the Mayflower. Perhaps it is buried in an English archive somewhere.

Thanksgiving Day - Pilgrims - Feast - Plymouth Plantation - Plymouth Colony

Of course, many of the signers of the Mayflower Compact were at the first Thanksgiving dinner a year later.

Thanksgiving Meal - Turkey with Trimmings - Time for Thanks - Holiday Meals - Ready to EatEnjoy your Thanksgiving dinner today and make sure you give thanks for all your blessings.


This entry was posted in Culture, Family History, History, Holidays and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Mayflower Compact

  1. Pingback: Historic Book Acquisitions VI | Braman's Wanderings

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  4. Pingback: Thinking of Plymouth Colony | Braman's Wanderings

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