Watch Again

America's Hidden Stories:

How a Commoner Became the De Facto Ruler of Jamestown

Watch More
back to video

»Mystery at Jamestown

How a Commoner Became the De Facto Ruler of Jamestown

Short | 03:28

In 1618, the death of the governor of Jamestown, Lord Delaware, meant that the path was clear for his deputy, George Yeardley to take his place. One problem: Yeardley was a commoner.

On TV

    • Thursday
    • 10:00pm
    Nov 21
    • Friday
    • 1:00am
    Nov 22
    • Friday
    • 4:00pm
    Nov 29

More About This episode

Most people think of Jamestown as the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, but new scientific research has revealed another prominent figure from America's first English colony. Discover the story of Sir George Yeardley, a commoner who became governor and went on to preside over the birth of the nation's democracy. Follow a team of archaeologists as they excavate the 1617 church where, according to English tradition, the leaders of the colony were buried, including our country's least known and first founding father.

Ways to Watch

Have Smithsonian Channel through your TV provider?

Watch this episode online now.

Return to Video Page