The Mayflower Compact was signed in the cabin of the Mayflower by forty-one men who made the voyage. Lines of descent have been proven from twenty-four of them. Richard Moore and Henry Samson were too young to sign.
Governor William Bradford's copy
of the Mayflower Compact
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 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 of 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 hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11 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 Ano. Dom. 1620.
* Known to have left descendants
“The first example in modern times of a social compact or system of government instituted by voluntary agreement conformable to the laws of nature, by men of equal rights and about to establish their community in a new country.”
John Quincy Adams, 6th US President, and 3rd Great-grandson of John Alden
In 1793, it was first called the "Mayflower Compact". Previously it had been called:
- “an association and agreement” (William Bradford)
- “combination” (Plymouth Colony Records)
- “solemn contract” (Thomas Prince, 1738)
- “the covenant” (Rev. Charles Turner, 1774)
- “Compact” (Alden Bradford, 1793) in "A Topographical Description of Duxborough, in the County of Plymouth"