American Documents: The Mayflower Compact
Judith Lloyd Yero
(National Geographic Children's Books, Oct. 10, 2006)
The eagerly awaited final title in National Geographic's popular American Documents series completes the broad sweep of the collection by casting all the way back to our country's original document of record, the Mayflower Compact. The date is November 10, 1620. After 66 days at sea crammed into a space about the size of a basketball court, the Pilgrims—as the 101 surviving passengers of the Mayflower became known—arrived on America's shores. They were an ocean away from their home country and hundreds of miles from where they were supposed to settle in the Virginia Colony. To survive in the wilderness of this strange, new land, they would need some rules for governing themselves and their community. The document they wrote is known as the Mayflower Compact. In fewer than 200 words, it laid the groundwork for democracy in America. The Mayflower Compact includes: • an engaging, interactive, and age-appropriate text, vetted by experts • 40 pages generously illustrated with period artwork and archival photographs • biographies of key figures in the document's history • the entire text of the original document and a complete list of its signatories • excerpt from Mourt's Relation, written by Edward Winslow and William Bradford, two of the colony's founding fathers • the charter of the Colony of New Plymouth • Web links to further information • a detailed glossary and indexThe core curriculum topics of pre-colonial and colonial American history are viewed through the prism of this cornerstone document and students are made aware of its relevance to their 21st century lives. This book is essential for any school, public, or home library. The Mayflower Compact acts as a valuable reminder of the time when America was merely an ideal being shaped in the minds of our forefathers, eager to escape oppression and create a better world.