The small ship Mayflower was crowded with over 100 passengers. They were anchored off Cape Cod and wanted to make sure they reached a common understanding of how they would live, work and worship together in a self-governing community. These are the words of that agreement they signed in the tiny ship:
“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 the Faith, e&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 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.”
John Carver+, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, Isaac Allerton, Miles Standish, John Alden, Samuel Fuller, Christopher Martin+, William Mullins+, William White+, James Chilton+, John Craxton+, John Billington, Richard Warren, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Tilly+, John Tilly+, Francis Cook.
Thomas Rogers+, Thomas Tinker+, John Rigdale+, Edward Fuller+, John Turner+, Francis Eaton, Moses Fletcher+, Digory Priest+, Thomas Williams+, Gilbert Winslow, Edmond Margeson+, Peter Brown, Richard Bitteridge+, Richard Clark+, Richard Gardiner, John Allerton+, Thomas English+, Edward Doten, Edward Liester, John Goodman+ and George Soule.