My wife, Frances Soule, was a direct, all-male descendant of Pilgrim George Soule, Mayflower passenger and signer of the Mayflower Compact. She was also related to more than (10) of the other Mayflower passengers. Her death in 2016, after 71 years of marriage, prompted me to investigate the importance of the Mayflower Compact to which her ancestor George Soule was a signator.
Much to my surprise, I found there are a number of prominent historians, men like John Quincy Adams who believed the Compact, as man's first attempt at self-government, should be ranked with the Magna Carta and perhaps, considered as America's "First Constitution." (see additional quotes and press release below)
Therefore, the Liberty Tree Society, founded in 1967, to celebrate Boston's famous Tree of Liberty, is proud to offer a Memorial commemorating both the Compact as America's "First Constitution" and the Liberty Tree from which flew America's First Flag...the gigantic Rebellious Stripes.
This Mayflower Compact Memorial, in lifetime cast bronze, consists of the essential wording of the Compact, and below it a personalized dedication. It also includes a 10 -15 ft. living Liberty Elm which, like the original, should grow to be 100 ft. in 100 years.
Why not honor them with a Mayflower Compact Memorial?
1. "Mourt's Relation, a Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622 (page 17-18). John Quincy Adams - "This is perhaps the only instance in human history of that positive social compact which speculative philosophers have imagined as the only legitimate source of government." Also, on page 18 he takes the liberty of listing the signers in alphabetical order as we have chosen to do on the Plaque honoring the Compact.
"The Mayflower Compact was the seed of American democracy and has been called the world's first written constitution."
3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mayflower-Compactwritten by The Editors
"The Compact is often regarded as the first written constitution in North America..."
"Why Was the Mayflower Compact Important?
The Mayflower Compact was important because it was the first document to establish self-government in the New World."
"The Compact is often described as America's first constitution, but it is not a constitution in the sense of being a fundamental framework of government."
7. WCAI http://www.capeandislands.org/post/pilgrims-and-mayflower-compact#stream/
9. The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America, 2017 (page 55) Rebecca Fraser "Plymouth Colony was the first experiment in consensual government in western history between individuals with one another and not with a monarch."
10. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War , 2006 ( page 352) Nathanial Philbrick, winner of Nat'l Book Award, in his book quotes John Quincy Adams as saying the Compact was "the Document that foreshadowed the flowering of American Democracy" and "perhaps the only instance in human history of... a unanimous and personal assent by all the individuals of a community, to an association by which they become a nation?"
11. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War , 2006 (page 42) Nathanial Philbrick, calls it "a document that ranks with Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution as a seminal American text."
12. First Principles Journal, http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/print.aspx?article=825 (06/09/11 ) Bruce Frohnen "Arguably the first constitutional document firmly within the American tradition, the Mayflower Compact is principally an oath taken in 1620 by forty-one of the men aboard the ship Mayflower before landing and founding Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts. "
13. Don't Know Much About History 2004, (page 31) by Kenneth Davis "The Mayflower Compact is rightly considered the first written Constitution in North America."
14. Imortal Voyage (1970) Jack Frost prints the copy of the "Compact" opposite a copy of the Original "Magna Carta". The illustration of the Magna Carta next to the "Compact" appears on page 30 of "Imortal Voyage".
"The Mayflower Compact was, in some ways, America's first Constitution."
"The Mayflower Compact was a document created by the Pilgrims that is considered to be a model for the U.S. Constitution."
"...the Mayflower Compact, often described as America's first constitution."