Puritans and Pioneers
Three mainstays of modern-day Hollywood discover family legacies that predate the United States itself. Ted Danson learns of two Colonial ancestors who broke the mold: a Connecticut Revolutionary colonel who allowed his slave to buy his freedom, and famed iconoclast Anne Hutchinson, who was banished from Massachusetts Bay for her subversive religious views. William H. Macy learns of his own family’s nonconformists — a Puritan punished for helping Quakers who went on to help purchase Nantucket, and a Confederate widow who committed pension fraud to attempt to regain the family’s financial stability. Mary Steenburgen’s ancestors, too, refused to follow the script, including a rowdy drunkard who served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, and a Tennessee soldier who paid the price of siding with the Union by being sent to one of the Civil War’s most notorious prison camps. Taken together, these diverse stories from the past show our guests how personal choices can change history.
Finding Your Roots
S4 Ep3: Episode 3: Puritans and Pioneers
Ted Danson, William H. Macy and Mary Steenburgen join Henry Louis Gates Jr.