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[309]

The eastern coast of the United States abounds in

Chap VIII}
beautiful and convenient harbors, in majestic bays and rivers. The first Virginia colony, sailing along the shores of North Carolina, was, by a favoring storm, driven into the magnificent Bay of the Chesapeake; the Piigrims, having selected for their settlement the country near the Hudson, the best position on the whole coast, were conducted to the most barren and inhospitable part of Massachusetts. After a
1620
long and boisterous voyage of sixty-three days, during which one person had died, they espied land, and, in
Nov. 9.
two days more, were safely moored in the harbor of Cape Cod.

Yet, before they landed, the manner in which their government should be constituted, was considered; and, as some were observed ‘not well affected to unity and concord,’ they formed themselves into a body politic by a solemn voluntary compact:—

‘In the name of God, amen; we, whose names are

Nov 11
underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign King James, 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 convenient for the general good of the colony Unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.’

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