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 Honour 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 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.
Anno Domini 1620
NOTE 1: The 'dread sovereign' referred to in the document used the archaic definition of dread—meaning awe and reverence for the King, not fear.
NOTE 2: There followed the signatures of 41 of the 102 passengers, 37 of whom were members of the "Separatists" who were fleeing religious persecution in Europe. This compact established the first European basis in the new world for written laws. Half the colony failed to survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered.
NOTE 3: The document was signed under the Old Style Julian calendar, on November 11, 1620. Since England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752, the Gregorian date would be November 21.