"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 England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of
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 of
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 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 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."
There followed the signatures of 41 of the 102 passengers, 37 of
whom were members of the "Separatists" who were fleeing
religious persecution in Europe. This compact established the first
basis in the new world for written laws. Half the colony failed
to survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered.