Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the male passengers of the Mayflower, consisting of separatist Congregationalists who called themselves "Saints," and adventurers and tradesmen, most of whom were referred to by the Separatists as "Strangers." The Separatists were fleeing from religious persecution by King James of England. Later both groups were referred to as Pilgrims or The Pilgrim Fathers. The Mayflower Compact was signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620 by the Pilgrims. Signing the covenant were 41 of the ship's 101 passengers.
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.