On this day in 1620, departing from Plymouth, England with 102 passengers, the Mayflower sails for the Colony of Virginia.
However, after being blown hopelessly off course, perhaps providentially, the “Pilgrims” finally reach Cape Cod in mid-November. There, they signed the Mayflower Compact, and founded the first permanent European settlement in New England.
For the Glory of God
Below is the full text of the Mayflower Compact, a progenitor of the form of self-government found in the Constitution of the United States.
“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 advancements of the Christian faith and honor 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 politic; 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 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.”