Friday, July 31, 2009

The Mayflower Compact

Signing the Mayflower Compact
Bradford St.
Provincetown, Mass.

After a torturous three month crossing of the Atlantic Ocean a small group of Pilgrims (separatists from the Puritan Church of England) found themselves in a new land. Having taken a more northerly course than originally planned the crew and the passengers of the Mayflower began to survey the harbor and the surrounding land of what is now Provincetown, Mass.

They found the area unsuitable to their needs and went on to establish their settlement in what is now Plymouth, Mass., but while still in the harbor the Pilgrims wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact. This compact or agreement was meant to establish a new form of governance for their new colony under the auspices ands authority of their sovereign King James I. It was signed by 41 of the colonists. The text is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under-written, 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 advancement 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 of another, covenant and combine our selves 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 hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November [New Style, November 21], 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. Anno Dom. 1620.

This bas-relief of the signing can be found on Bradford St. in Provincetown at the base of the Pilgrim Monument.

No comments: