Portsmouth Compact of 1638

The text of the Portsmouth Compact:

The 7th Day of the First Month, 1638.

We whose names are underwritten do hereby solemnly in the presence of Jehovah incorporate ourselves into a Bodie Politick and as He shall help, will submit our persons, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given in His Holy Word of truth, to be guided and judged thereby.

(In the margin are the following Bible citations: Exodus 24:3-4, Second Chronicles 11:3, Second Kings 11:17)

The Compact was signed by 23 men: William Coddington, John Clarke**, William Hutchinson* (husband of Anne Hutchinson*), John Coggeshall+, William Aspinwall, Samuel Wilbore, John Porter, John Sanford, Edward Hutchinson, Jr.*, Thomas Savage++, William Dyre* (husband of Mary Dyer*), William Freeborn*, Phillip Shearman, John Walker*, Richard Carder, William Baulston, Edward Hutchinson, Sr.**, Henry Bull X his marke, Randall Holden, Thomas Clarke** (brother of John), John Johnson, William Hall and John Brightman.

[* direct ancestors; ** g-grand uncles; = father of g-grand uncle, Samuel Rathbun; ++ husband of g-grand aunt, Faith Hutchinson]

The last four names, for unknown reasons, show erasure marks and/or strikethroughs.  Of those four—Thomas Clarke, John Johnson, William Hall and John Brightman—the first three are known to have been among the first settlers of Newport, Rhode Island, arriving in 1638, and the same may be true of John Brightman.


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