Under the Julian Calendar in effect at the time, the Mayflower Compact was signed on November 11, 1620. Under the Gregorian Calendar it was signed on November 21.
Few efforts at colonization faced bleaker prospects than those of the Pilgrims as they faced a bleak starving winter in a howling wilderness in November 1620. It was therefore remarkable that they drafted an act to govern what all too many of them probably feared would be a settlement with the briefest of existences. It showed hope for the future and a determination to prevail against all odds. Here is the text 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, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the 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 another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, 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 eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620