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06.20.2019

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL MARKS 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY WITH SEARCH FOR LOST FOUNDING FATHER IN AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES: MYSTERY AT JAMESTOWN

SPECIAL INSTALLMENT OF GROUNDBREAKING SERIES 
WHICH PREVIOUSLY REVEALED THAT RENOWNED GENERAL CASIMIR PULASKI WAS INTERSEX 
PREMIERES MONDAY, JULY 29 AT 8 PM ET/PT 

 

NEW YORK – June 20, 2019 – Jamestown, the first successful English settlement in the Americas, is best known for the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas, but now archaeologists are on the hunt for a pioneering and controversial forgotten founding father. On July 30, 1619, Sir George Yeardley presided over the first democratic assembly in English-speaking America. Just a few weeks later, he purchased the first captive Africans for an English colony – opening America to the horrors of slavery. Smithsonian Channel’s probing series AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES has pulled back the curtain on history we thought we knew, such as the groundbreaking revelation that Revolutionary War hero General Casimir Pulaski was intersex. Now, a special episode of the series reveals how Sir George Yeardley and a single year, 1619, set the course for the nation’s future. AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES: MYSTERY AT JAMESTOWN premieres 400 years after the assembly’s anniversary on Monday, July 29 at 8 PM ET/PT.

 

Since the remains of John Smith’s original triangular fort were discovered by archeologist Bill Kelso in 1994, a team from Jamestown Rediscovery and Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Doug Owsley have steadily uncovered details of the colony’s history. Now, new excavations have revealed several burials within the remains of Jamestown’s original 1617 church – one of which could be Yeardley, a self-made son of a tailor who rose to be knighted and named the second governor of the colony in 1618. AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES: MYSTERY AT JAMESTOWN follows the forensic detective work as scientists excavate and analyze the burials, hoping to match clues from the grave with historical records of Yeardley’s life. Dramatic reconstructions transport viewers back to the precarious first years of the colony, when rivalries between leaders, disease and starvation, and conflict with the Powhatan confederation – a powerful group of Native Americans who inhabited the Chesapeake area – threatened Jamestown’s survival.

 

AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES: MYSTERY AT JAMESTOWN is produced by Lisa Quijano Wolfinger, Kirk Wolfinger and Chris Bryson of Lone Wolf Media for Smithsonian Networks. Charles Poe and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.