English colonists to the New World wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620 (according to the “Old Style” Julian calendar). This brief document, signed by forty-one adult males, in effect established a framework for the first European government in the New World. The original document was lost, but William Bradford, Plymouth Colony’s second governor, included a transcription in his journal, Of Plymouth Plantation (1646), that is regarded as authoritative.
The arrival of the Mayflower on the eastern shore of America in 1620 has endured as a symbol of the desire...
Signing of the Mayflower Compact (Library of Congress)View Full Size