Signing of the Mayflower Compact

Historical content: 
The Colonial Era
Historical skills: 
Sourcing

Assessment

Directions: 

Use the image below to answer the question. 

Source: 

This engraving, titled "The pilgrims signing the compact, on board the May Flower, Nov. 11th, 1620," was created by T.H. Matteson in 1859.  

Question:

The engraving, "The pilgrims signing the compact," is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the signing of the Mayflower Compact.

Do you agree or disagree?

Briefly support your answer.

About the Assessment

Like The First Thanksgiving, this assessment measures students’ ability to source a document.  When historians interpret a document, they first look to find out who wrote it and when.  This information presents important clues about whether the document provides reliable evidence about the past.  This assessment gauges whether students understand an important aspect of sourcing: the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the event that it depicts.   

Students who understand the importance of when a document was produced will see that this painting offers limited evidence to historians who wish to understand the signing of the Mayflower Compact because it was produced over 200 years after the event.