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Mayflower Compact

Before coming to the New World, the Pilgrims had lived in Leyden, Holland from 1608 to 1620. While there, they absorbed the liberating influences of Dutch society and shifted toward a more democratic form of self-governance.

As the passengers aboard the Mayflower journeyed across the Atlantic, tensions arose among the three factions: the Separatists seeking religious freedom, the merchant-adventurers seeking their fortune, and the crew seeking their livelihood. It became apparent that if these passengers were to survive in an alien land, they needed to consent voluntarily to a cooperative form of government. Thus it was that The Mayflower Compact came into being and was signed by the adult male passengers in November, 1620.

While the language of Shakespeare's day might seem quaint to us today, the spirit of democracy set forth in this famous document is timeless.

The Mayflower Compact

"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, etc.

"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 here unto 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."

                                                            Signers of the Mayflower Compact

John Carver                                                      Edward Tilley                                           Degory Priest

William Bradford                                               John Tilley                                               Thomas Williams

Edward Winslow                                               Francis Cooke                                         Gilbert Winslow

William Brewster                                               Thomas Rogers                                       Edmund Margesson

Isaac Allerton                                                    Thomas Tinker                                        Peter Brown

Myles Standish                                                 John Rigsdale                                         Richard Britteridge

John Alden                                                        Edward Fuller                                         George Soule

Samuel Fuller                                                    John Turner                                            Richard Clarke

Christopher Martin                                             Francis Eaton                                         Richard Gardiner

William Mullins                                                  James Chilton                                        John Allerton

William White                                                    John Crackstone                                    Thomas English

Richard Warren                                                 John Billington                                        Edward Doty

John Howland                                                    Moses Fletcher                                      Edward Leister

Stephen Hopkins                                               John Goodman


Mayflower (1620)

View the original list of passengers (PDF, 2.6Mb) from the handwritten manuscript of Gov. William Bradford, written up about 1651 (file link is to the State Library of Massachusetts).  Below is a complete list of all Mayflower passengers, along with a link to each for further information.  Information provided by mayflowerhistory.com