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the Progress and Proceedings of the said Lottery or Lot. teries, but be therein, touching the Premises, aiding and assisting, by all honest, good, and lawful Means and Endeavours. And further, our Will and Pleasure is, that in all Questions and Doubts, that shall arise, upon any Difficulty of Construction or Interpretation of any Thing, contained in these, or any other our former Letters-patents, the same shall be taken and interpreted, in most ample and beneficial Manner for the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, and every Member thereof. And lastly, we do, by these Presents, RATIFY AND CONFIRM unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, for ever, all and all Manner of Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, Immunities, Preheminences, Profits, and Commodities, whatsoever, granted unto them in any our former Letters-patents, and not in these Presents revoked, altered, changed, or abridged. ALTHOUGH express Mention of the true Yearly Value or Certainty of the Premises, or any of them, or of any other Gift or Grant, by Us or any our Progenitors or Predecessors, to the aforesaid Treasurer and Company heretofore made in these Presents is not made; Or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, Provision, Proclamation, or Restraint, to the contrary thereof heretofore made, ordained, or provided, or any other Matter, Cause, or Thing, whatsoever, to the contrary, in any wise, notwithstanding

IN WITNESS whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents. Witness Ourself, at Westminster, the twelfth Day of March, in the ninth Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the five and fortieth.


The need of this compact is thus set forth by one of the Pilgrims: “Some of the strangers among them had let fall from them in the ship that when they came ashore they would use their own liberty, for none had power to command them, the patent they had being for Virginia and not for New England, which belonged to another government, with which the Virginia Company had nothing to do." Bancroft lauds it in the highest terms : “Here was the birth of popular constitutional liberty. The middle ages had been familiar with charters and constitutions; but they had been merely compacts for immunities, partial enfranchisements, patents of nobility, concessions of municipal privileges, or limitations of the sovereign power in favor of feudal institutions. In the cabin of the Mayflower humanity recovered its rights, and instituted government on the basis of

equal laws,' enacted by all the people for the 'general good.'” (For a different estimate, see Scott's Development of Constitutional Liberty, p. 84, and Crane and Moses' Politics, p. 103.)

John Quincy Adams regarded it as “perhaps the only instance in human history of the positive original social compact, which speculative philosophers have imagined as the only legitimate source of government.” Somewhat similar com

pacts were drawn up by the settlers of Portsmouth, R. I., 1638, and Newport, 1639, and Exeter, N. H., 1639.

Plymouth obtained a patent for their lands from the New England Company, and though never successful in their numerous applications for a royal charter maintained an independent existence until its incorporation with Massachusetts in 1691.

Consult Bancroft's Hist. U. S., ist ed. I., 309; Cen. ed. I., 143 ; last ed. I., 206; Hildreth's Hist. U. S., I., 158; Palfrey's Hist. New England, I., 165; Bryant and Gay's U. S., I., 388; Barry's Hist. Mass., First Period, 83; Webster's Plymouth Oration, see Works; Frothingham's Rise of the Republic of the U. S.,15; Doyle's English Colonies, 158.


In the name of God, Amen; We, whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland King, defender of the faith, etc., haveing undertaken, for the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith and honor of our king and countrie, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe, by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; and, by vertue heareof, to enacte, constitute, and frame, such just and equall laws, ordenances, acts, constitutions and offices. from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the generall good of the Colonie. Unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In

witnes whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names, at Cap Codd, the 11th of November, in the year of the raigne of our sovereigne lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini, 1620.


SIR GEORGE YEARDLEY, appointed by the Virginia Company Governor of Virginia in 1618, received instructions from the treasurer of the Company " that the planters might have a hand in the

governing of themselves.” Yeardley, accordingly, summoned the council of state and two burgesses to meet at Jamestown, July 30, 1619. Two years later the Virginia Company passed the following ordinance, giving to the colony the guarantee of a written constitution. The Tory historian, Chalmers, characterizes this ordinance “as no less remarkable for the wisdom of its provisions than for being the principal step in the progress of freedom.

The proceedings of the first assembly are printed in N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2d series, vol. III., p. 331, from a copy found in the Record Office in England.

Consult also Bancroft's Hist. U. S., ist ed. vol. I., P. 153; Centenary ed. I., 119; last ed. I., 110; Hildreth's U.S., I., 211 ; Bryant and Gay's U. S., I., 306; Neil's Va. Co., 139; Chalmers' Political

Annals, 43.

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