Happy Thanksgiving! How Beer Saved the Pilgrims and Allowed for Urbanization

Written by Captain Dave Funk on November 22, 2017

As we all sit at the table tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day, please take a few moments to reflect upon how important the Hand of God was in shaping America and our success as a Republic.

Several years ago, while reading the book The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, there was the story of two American Indians named Samoset and Squanto. Samoset walked into the Pilgrim’s Settlement at Plymouth Rock dressed only in a loincloth, and with his booming voice said, “Welcome” followed by, “Have you got any beer?”

Although out of beer, they instead offered him some brandy. That happened on March 21, 1621. He was one of the very few Indians who spoke and understood English at the time. Shortly after this initial meeting, Samoset introduced the Pilgrims to the last surviving Patuxet Indian named Squanto, who, after being captured in about 1605, was taken to England against his will, made his way back to North America, was captured again and sold into slavery in Spain, finally escaping a second time to returned home in 1619.

Samoset and Squanto taught the Pilgrim’s how to survive in the hostile climate of New England and, along with the Pilgrim’s rejection of a collectivist lifestyle, they were able to survive. The Pilgrim’s were inspired to have that first Thanksgiving feast giving thanks to God and Squanto. Their chance encounter with two English-speaking Indians several thousand miles from England surly was not an accident.

Fast-forward almost 400 years to an interesting article in the July 10, 2008 Washington Post by George F. Will titled “Survival of the Sudsiest”. This article is literally about how man’s gastrointestinal system and its ability to tolerate alcohol, beer and wine in this example, allowed civilization to grow and prosper. Civilizations dependence upon the growth of urban areas and the need for clean water to sustain it is crucial. If you don’t have clean water, you drink beer to survive. As Ben Franklin said: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

You won’t have to be 41,000 feet in the air to see me enjoying a few beers on Thanksgiving Day, thanking God for its invention, and those two American Indians who taught the Pilgrim’s how to survive and prosper hundreds of year ago.

Image: Excerpted from: Unknown – The Sutro Library, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=751593

Share if you agree the Samoset incident demonstrates God is real and had a hand in America’s founding.

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Captain Dave Funk
Captain Dave Funk: Constitutionalist, hunter, dad and patriot, Dave has retired as both a US Army attack helicopter pilot and a Boeing 757 International Captain for Northwest Airlines; Dave has spent most of the last few years piloting US Department of Defense special mission aircraft in the “Sandbox”. With a unique perspective on the world that comes from thousands of hours at 41,000 feet, his ability to explain complex aviation question in simple terms has earned him guest commentator spots on most major TV and radio networks.