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Joy Browne's 2011 book Dating For Dummies says:

Alcohol has been, is now, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future the major drug of abuse in this country. (More Pilgrims drowned in the canals after getting drunk and falling overboard on Saturday nights than were killed by Native Americans.) Both of you are going to feel a bit nervous anyway. Why add the temptations and problems of alcohol, especially if you have to drive home?

Is "More Pilgrims drowned in the canals after getting drunk and falling overboard on Saturday nights than were killed by Native Americans." true?

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    I think this claim would need more context to be verifiable/falsifiable. Assuming "Pilgrims" means the passengers of the Mayflower, at what point in their journey would they have encountered "canals" that they could fall "overboard" in on a Saturday night? Would this have been prior to leaving Leiden? If so, who would have counted as "pilgrims"?
    – mmeent
    Aug 31 '20 at 12:31
  • Or does it mean Jeremiah's Gutter? Remember that the Pilgrims drank beer on the Mayflower and were rather shocked to have to drink water in Massachusetts before they had enough grain to start a brewery
    – Henry
    Aug 31 '20 at 14:08
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    There's a lot of stuff to define in that claim. The mix of authorial snark and lack of notability suggest it's not a good question for Skeptics. Maybe History? Aug 31 '20 at 15:42
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    The Mayflower Pilgrims and their followers settled in Plymouth colony in south eastern Mass, east of Rhode Island. It was the Puritans who settled the rest of Massachusetts. I believe that the main Indian Wars in Mass. were the Pequot War (1636-38), which had rather small Puritan casualties & King Philip's War (1675-76) which was bloody but after most of the original Pilgrims had died of old age. So few Pilgrims were killed by Indians and I have no idea if any of them got drunk and drowned in hypothetical canals in Massachusetts - no doubt there were canals in the Netherlands. Aug 31 '20 at 17:16
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    I had always assumed that Puritan beliefs would proscribe alcohol (which would make it nearly impossible for any numbers of Pilgrims to obtain enough alcohol to get drunk and drown). Not so. Learned something that overturned my assumptions because of this question, so +1. Sep 2 '20 at 16:56

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