The Mayflower Compact
Aboard the Mayflower November 11, 1620

 

Many Protestants, unhappy under English Anglican religious restrictions, decided to cross the Atlantic in search of the opportunity to put into practice their religious faith as they understood that it should be lived out.  From Plymouth, England, the Mayflower took about 100 passengers on a voyage to land owned by the Virginia Company, where the pilgrims had permission to settle.  However, they landed instead in Plymouth in New England on a bleak December day in 1620.  Since the new colony was outside the Virginia Company's possessions, its legal status was dubious from the start.  Thus, before leaving the ship, 41 of the first arrivals signed the Mayflower Compact.  This compact provided for their government during the first years of the Plymouth Colony.
William Bradford's transcription of the Mayflower Compact
 
In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord King James by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c
Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente 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, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye .11. of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soveraigne Lord King James, of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom. 1620.

The Actual Bradford Page (with relevant part highlighted)

Signers of the Compact


John Carver
William Bradford
Edward Winslow
William Brewster
Issac Allerton
Myles Standish
John Alden
Samuel Fuller
Christopher Martin
William Mullins
William White
Richard Warren
John Howland
Stephen Hopkins
Edward Tilley
John Tilley
Francis Cooke
Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Rigdale
Edward Fuller
John Turner
Francis Eaton
James Chilton
John Crackston
John Billington
Moses Fletcher
John Goodman
Degory Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow
Edmund Margeson
Peter Browne
Richard Britteridge
Georoe Soule
Richard Clarke
Richard Gardiner
John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Dotey
Edward Leister




 

Signing of the Mayflower Compact
House wing of the U.S. Capitol - Architect of the Capitol