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The Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the male passengers of the Mayflower, consisting of separatist Puritans, adventurers, and tradesmen. The Puritans were fleeing from religious persecution by King James of England. The Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact was signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620. They used the Julian Calendar, also known as Old Style dates, which was ten days behind the Gregorian Calendar. Signing the covenant were 41 of the ship's 101 passengers[1][2] while the Mayflower
Mayflower
was anchored in Provincetown Harbor
Provincetown Harbor
within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod.[3]

Contents

1 Reasons for the Compact 2 Text 3 Signers 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Reasons for the Compact The Mayflower
Mayflower
was originally bound for the Colony of Virginia, financed by the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London. Storms forced them to anchor at the hook of Cape Cod
Cape Cod
in Massachusetts, as it was unwise to continue with provisions running short. This inspired some of the Strangers to proclaim that, since the settlement would not be made in the agreed-upon Virginia territory, they "would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them."[4] To prevent this, the Pilgrims chose to establish a government. The Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact was based simultaneously upon a majoritarian model (taking into account that women and children could not vote) and the settlers' allegiance to the king. It was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the compact's rules and regulations for the sake of order and survival.[5] The Pilgrims had lived for some years in Leiden, a city in the Dutch Republic. "Just as a spiritual covenant had marked the beginning of their congregation in Leiden, a civil covenant would provide the basis for a secular government in America."[6] Text

Bradford's transcription of the Compact

The original document has been lost,[7] but three versions exist from the 17th century: printed in Mourt's Relation
Mourt's Relation
(1622),[8][9] which was reprinted in Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625);[10] hand-written by William Bradford in his journal Of Plimoth Plantation
Of Plimoth Plantation
(1646);[11] and printed by Bradford's nephew Nathaniel Morton
Nathaniel Morton
in New-Englands Memorial (1669).[7] The three versions differ slightly in wording and significantly in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.[9] William Bradford wrote the first part of Mourt's Relation, including its version of the compact, so he wrote two of the three versions. The wording of those two versions is indeed quite similar, unlike that of Morton. Bradford's handwritten manuscript is kept in a vault at the State Library of Massachusetts.[12] Modern version

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, &c. 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 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 do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, 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.[13]

The document was signed under the Old Style Julian calendar, since England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
until 1752. The Gregorian date would be November 21.

Signers A list of 41 male passengers who signed the document was supplied by Bradford's nephew Nathaniel Morton
Nathaniel Morton
in his 1669 New England's Memorial. Thomas Prince
Thomas Prince
first numbered the names in his 1736 A Chronological History of New-England in the form of Annals.[1] The original document has been lost, so Morton is the sole source for the signers. He probably had access to the original document, but he could not have known the actual order in which it was signed simply by inspecting it. Morton's arrangement of names might not have been the arrangement on the original document, and the names on the original may not have been arranged in any orderly fashion. Prince's numbers are based solely on Morton, as he himself stated.[7] Morton's list of names was unnumbered and untitled in all six editions (1669–1855), although their order changed with successive editions. In his original 1669 edition, the names were placed on two successive pages (15–16) forming six short columns, three columns of seven names each (headed Carver, Samuel Fuller, and Edward Tilley) on the first page and three columns of seven, seven, and six names each (headed Turner, Priest, and Clarke) on the next page.[7] In the second (1721) and third (1772) editions, the six short columns were joined into three long columns of 14, 14, and 13 names each on a single page (20). The first and fourth short columns were joined into the first long column (headed Carver with Turner halfway down), the second and fifth short columns were joined into the second long column (headed Samuel Fuller with Priest halfway down), and the third and sixth short columns were joined into the third long column (headed Edward Tilley with Clarke halfway down), changing their order. In the fifth (1826) and sixth (1855) editions, the names were also in three long columns of 14, 14, and 13 names each on one page (1826: 38, 1855: 26), but now they were placed in their original 1669 order. The first and second short columns formed the first long column (headed Carver with Samuel Fuller halfway down), the third and fourth short columns formed the second long column (headed Edward Tilley
Edward Tilley
with Turner halfway down), and the fifth and sixth short columns formed the third long column (headed Priest with Clarke halfway down). Both long column orders appear in modern lists of unnumbered signers. Prince numbered the names in their original 1669 Morton order (the same as the 1826/55 Morton order) on successive pages (85–86), two columns of eight names each on one page (headed 1 Carver and 9 Martin) and two columns of 13 and 12 names each on the next page (headed 17 Cooke and 30 Williams). The third (1852) edition placed these numbered names in two columns (the first column headed 1 Carver with 8 Samuel Fuller and 15 Edward Tilley
Edward Tilley
below, and the second column headed 22 Turner with 29 Priest and 36 Clarke below) on a single page (172). He added titles (Mr. or Capt.) to 11 names that were given those titles by William Bradford in the list of passengers at the end of his manuscript.[1][11] He attributed the lack of Mr. Bradford to Bradford's modesty. Prince's numbered order of signers is now used to identify ancestors in genealogical charts.[7] The following list of signers is organized into the six short columns of Morton (1669) with the numbers and titles of Prince. The names are given their modern spelling according to Morison.[14] Use the numbers given for the order used by genealogists and half of unnumbered lists (Samuel Fuller will be the eighth name), but merge the half columns vertically into full columns for the order used by the other half of unnumbered lists (John Turner will be the eighth name).

Mr. John Carver William Bradford Mr. Edward Winslow Mr. William Brewster Mr. Isaac Allerton Capt. Myles Standish John Alden

Mr. Samuel Fuller Mr. Christopher Martin  Mr. William Mullins Mr. William White Mr. Richard Warren John Howland Mr. Stephen Hopkins

Edward Tilley John Tilley Francis Cooke Thomas Rogers Thomas Tinker John Rigsdale Edward Fuller

 

John Turner Francis Eaton James Chilton John Crackstone John Billington Moses Fletcher John Goodman

Degory Priest Thomas Williams Gilbert Winslow Edmund Margeson Peter Browne Richard Britteridge George Soule

Richard Clarke Richard Gardiner John Allerton Thomas English Edward Doty Edward Leister

See also

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
(1638) Instrument of Government
Instrument of Government
(1653) List of Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers List of Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers who died in the winter of 1620–1621 Mayflower Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact signatories Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers who died at sea November/December 1620

References

^ a b c Thomas Prince, A chronological history of New England in the form of annals (1736) Chronology 73, 84–86. Internet Archive. ^ Bradford listed 104 passengers, including: William Button, a servant of Samuel Fuller who died five days before landfall; Oceanus Hopkins, born at sea; Perigrine White, born two weeks after landfall; and seamen William Trevor and someone named Ely, both hired for one year. If the two seamen and Perigrine White are ignored (William Button's death is offset by Oceanus Hopkins' birth), one is left with the "101 who sail'd from Plimouth in England, and just as many arriv'd in Cape Cod Harbour" as listed by Prince. ^ Young, Alexander (1841). Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth from 1602 to 1625. pp. 117–124.  ^ Bradford, William (1898). "Book 2, Anno 1620". In Hildebrandt, Ted. Bradford's History "Of Plimoth Plantation" (PDF). Boston: Wright & Potter. Retrieved 2006-06-01.  ^ Young 1841, p. 120. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick (2006), Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, Penguin Book, New York, N.Y., ISBN 978-0-14-311197-9, p. 41 ^ a b c d e George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact and its signers (Boston: Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Society of Mayflower
Mayflower
Descendants, 1920). Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document. ^ William Bradford, Edward Winslow
Edward Winslow
(printer G. Mourt [George Morton], Relation or Iournall of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation setled at Plimoth in New England, Early English Books Online, p.4 ^ a b Henry Martyn Dexter, [G. Mourt = George Morton], Mourt's Relation or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth, 1865, pp.6–7, a reprint using original typeface, paragraphs, punctuation, spelling and embellishments, but not pagination. ^ Samuel Purchas, Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes, Vol. XIX (Glasgow:James Maclehose, 1906) 313–314. Reprint of 1625 edition except that letters i, j, u, and v are used according to modern custom, contracted letters extended, printers' errors corrected, and repaginated from original four volumes to twenty volumes (I.xxvi). ^ a b William Bradford, Bradford's History "Of Plimoth Plantation" from the original manuscript (Boston: 1901) page 110 (photocopy of manuscript page follows). Passengers listed on pages 530–540. No annotations. Official printing by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This printing of the compact is identical to the 1856 version by the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Historical Society. Spelling and contractions follow manuscript except for modern usage. Capitalization and punctuation differ from manuscript. A faithful transcription is at Mayflower Compact (1620) Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ History of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630–1650. State Library of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Catalog ^ " Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact : 1620. Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620". Avalon Project, Yale Law School. Retrieved 18 February 2018.  Source: The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909. ^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Of Plymouth Plantation
Of Plymouth Plantation
1620–1647 by William Bradford (New York: Alfed A. Knopf, 1966) 441–3.

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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact.

The Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact – Society of Mayflower
Mayflower
Descendants in the State of North Carolina

v t e

Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers and related topics

General

Mayflower List of Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers Captain Christopher Jones Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers who died at sea November/December 1620 Mayflower
Mayflower
passengers who died in the winter of 1620–21 The More family Cole's Hill Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact

signatories

Pilgrims Plymouth Colony Of Plymouth Plantation Mourt's Relation

Separatists

Priscilla (Mullins) Alden Isaac Allerton Mary Allerton William Bradford Dorothy Bradford Love Brewster William Brewster Peter Browne William Butten John Carver ( Plymouth Colony
Plymouth Colony
governor) James Chilton Mary Chilton Francis Cooke Humility Cooper John Crackston Edward Doty Moses Fletcher Edward Fuller Samuel Fuller John Howland Degory Priest Thomas Rogers Henry Samson George Soule Edward Tilley John Tilley Thomas Tinker John Turner William White Resolved White Peregrine White Edward Winslow

Other passengers

John Alden John Billington Francis Eaton Constance Hopkins Elizabeth Hopkins Oceanus Hopkins Stephen Hopkins Christopher Martin Elinor More Jasper More Mary More Richard More William Mullins Myles Standish Richard Warren

Native American associates

Squanto Samoset Hobbamock Massasoit Corbitant

Related

Speedwell Fortune

passengers

The Anne and Little James

passengers

Plymouth Rock The Mayflower
Mayflower
Society

Mayflower
Mayflower
House Museum

Pilgrim Hall Museum Mayflower
Mayflower
II Harwich Mayflower
Mayflower
Project National Monument to the Forefathers Pilgrim Monument

v t e

American colonial documents

Writings and documents related to British America
British America
prior to the American Revolution

Richard Hakluyt

Discourse Concerning Western Planting (1584)

Mayflower

Mayflower
Mayflower
Compact (1620)

Plymouth Colony

Of Plymouth Plantation
Of Plymouth Plantation
(1630-1651)

Connecticut Colony

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
(1638)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 1790183

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