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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Untold Story of the Mayflower

Dr. Francis Bremer, chair of the history department at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, wants to set the record straight about Pilgrims: they liked booze and sex.

Bremer says the colonists brought with them from Europe a preference for alcoholic beverages, which were considered an important part of their diet. Drinking was pervasive because water supplies were usually contaminated by human and animal waste. Tea, coffee, and soft drinks were unknown in England when the colonists left. Therefore, alcoholic beverages were the common fare, though they regarded drunkenness as a sin.

Another common myth about both the Pilgrims and Puritans is that they were against sex. "Actually the Puritans had a much more matter-of-fact attitude about sex," said Bremer. "As long as we are talking about sex between a married couple, the Puritans had no problem with that. They believed that God intended man and woman to derive pleasure from sex." [Link]
Bremer will be featured on the three-hour documentary Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower," set to air Nov. 19 on the History Channel. You can see clips by completing a quiz here, or skip the quiz and watch some bloopers at YouTube.

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