In 1620 the Pilgrims, persecuted for conscience's sake, "braved the tempests of the vast and furious ocean and the terrors lurking in the American wilderness" to plant their State of Freedom. Even before landing they set up their government by a written Compact; the first charter of a government of the people, by the people and for the people known to history. In the cabin of the Mayflower humanity recovered its rights.


Signed in the Cabin of the "Mayflower" Nov. 11th,

Old Style, Nov. 21st, New Style, 1620

"In the name of God, amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc and Ireland king, defender of the faith haveing undertaken for the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and countrie, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly and mutualy in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by verture hereof to enacte, constitute and frame such just and equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the general good of the colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 11 of November, in the year of the raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James of England, Franc and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. ANo Dom 1620."

John Carver
Edward Tilly
Degory Priest
William Bradford
John Tilly
Thomas Williams
Edward Winslow
Francis Cooke
Gilbert Winslow
William Brewster
Thomas Rogers
Edmond Margeson
Isasc Allerton
Thomas Tinker
Peter Brown
Myles Standish
John Rigdale
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 Crackston
Thomas English
Richard Warren
John Billington
Edward Doty
John Howland
Moses Fletcher
Edward Leister
Stephen Hopkins
John Goodman


This venerable document, the first American State paper.

Thus these men became the First Americans. They believed that God created all men equal; therefore, without other precedent; they made all men equal before the Law. Here was the birth of popular constitutional liberty, foreshadowing our Declaration of Independence and our American Constitution, which guarantees Freedom to all of us today. Tremendous suffering was endured as they grappled with the great unknown. Half their number perished in the struggle of that first terrible Winter. Under cover of darkness, the fast dwindling Company laid their dead; levelling the earth above them lest the Indians should learn how many were the graves.

"History records no nobler venture for Faith and Freedom than that of this Pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and cold, they laid the foundation of a State wherein every man, through countless ages, should have liberty to worship God in his own way, in perpetuation and spreading, throughout the World, the lofty ideals of our Republic."

The "Mayflower" started with ninety-eight passengers; one was born on the voyage, and four joined them from the ship. Forty-one men signed the "Compact." There were twelve other men, twenty-two women, twenty boys, and eight girls in the company. In December, six died; in January, eight; in February, seventeen; in March, thirteen; making forty-four. Forty-four are believed to have left descendants.

(Note: November 21st of our calendar is the same as November 11th of the old Style calendar.)