Despite rough seas and and a main beam, the Mayflower
arrived on the Atlantic coast on November 11. One man died during the voyage - William Button. As their ship moored in the harbor of what would become their new colony, they agreed on a compact, a contract signed by 41 of the 102 passengers:
"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."
With a boat damaged, they spent several weeks exploring the strange new land while the ship was moored in the harbor. They found the area had been visited by Europeans before, who left a bad impression on the indigenous peoples who lived there. In this time, four more pilgrims died on the ship. But on December 21, a party landed on the site they would call Plymouth, and after a due to bad weather, they went to work building their colony on December 23.