On September 6, 1620, a group of courageous pilgrims set sail in the Mayflower from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with the primary purpose of establishing a colony where they could freely practice their religious beliefs. They anchored in Provincetown Harbor of Cape Cod on November 21, 1620, and after exploring the cape, they settled on the coast at Plymouth (in present-day Massachusetts). On the day they anchored, they wrote and signed a compact declaring their purpose and how their civil government would function. The modernized text of the main body of the 1620 Mayflower Compact reads as follows:
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 our selves 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.
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