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Our Family's "Mayflower" Connection

(This section last updated: 12/24/2016 09:13 AM)


Stephen Hopkins

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Mayflower Compact

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It has been said that the Mayflower Compact document was at least partially the basis or inspiration for the United States Constitution and other early American documents.  Had the Pilgrims decided to go it alone, surely they would have all soon perished.  This document gave them the vehicle by which to govern themselves and instill a sense of order in their new land.  It is obvious from the wording of this document, in my opinion, that their Christian Faith was of utmost importance to them, and that they were very much concerned with having a cohesive, secure society amongst themselves as they explored the new world.  It is also apparent from the document's wording that they wanted to move to a more democratic form of self governance, rather than remain subjects of the King of England.

Some time after landing at Plymouth, the forty-one adult male passengers gathered in the cabin of the Mayflower to decide what to do next. With the help of William Brewster's book of law, they formulated and signed the Mayflower Compact which consolidated the passengers into a "body politic" that had the power to enact laws for the settlement. The compact also established the rule of the majority, which remained a primary principle of government in Plymouth Colony until it became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

 

Mayflower Compact 1620

Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620


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 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.
 

 

The Mayflower Compact Signers:
 

Mr. John Carver
Mr. William Bradford
Mr Edward Winslow
Mr. William Brewster
Isaac Allerton
Myles Standish
John Alden
John Turner
Francis Eaton
James Chilton
John Craxton
John Billington
Moses Fletcher
John Goodman
Mr. Samuel Fuller
Mr. Christopher Martin
Mr. William Mullins
Mr. William White
Mr. Richard Warren
John Howland
Mr. Stephen Hopkins
Degory Priest
Thomas Williams
Gilbert Winslow
Edmund Margesson
Peter Brown
Richard Britteridge
George Soule
Edward Tilly
John Tilly
Francis Cooke
Thomas Rogers
Thomas Tinker
John Ridgdale
Edward Fuller
Richard Clark
Richard Gardiner
Mr. John Allerton
Thomas English
Edward Doten
Edward Liester

 

 


Signing of the Mayflower Compact

 

 

More information about this document can be found:

 

 

 

 
 

       

 

 

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