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Birth of a Nation
of David Pierce
Coordinated by the
Media History Digital Library
Funded by a donation from David Pierce
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Media History Digital Library
The Birth of a Nation
The Most Stupendous and Fascinating
Motion Picture Drama Created
in the United States
Founded on Thomas Dixon's Story "THE CLANSMAN"
PRODUCED UNDER THE PERSONAL DIRECTION OF
D. W. GRIFFITH
Scenario by D.W.GRIFFITH and FRANK E.WOODS
Music by JOSEPH CARL BREIL
Photography by G. W. BITZER
DIRECTION OF EPOCH PRODUCING CORPORATION
H. E. AITKEN, President
THE EPOCH PRODUCING CORPORATION
420 LONGACRE BUILDING
NEW YORK CITY
D. W. GRIFFITH, Presents
THE BIRTH OF A NATION
AN HISTORICAL DRAMA IN TWO ACTS
Note. — There will be an intermission of eight minutes between Acts I. and II.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
COL. BEN CAMERON HENRY WALTHALL
MARGARET CAMERON, the elder sister MIRIAM COOPER
FLORA, the pet sister MAE MARSH
MRS. CAMERON JOSEPHINE CROWELL
DR. CAMERON SPOTTISWOODE AIKEN
WADE CAMERON, the second son J. A. BERINGER
DUKE CAMERON, the youngest son MAXFIELD STANLEY
MAMMY, their faithful old servant JENNIE LEE
HON. AUSTIN STONEMAN, Leader of the House RALPH LEWIS
ELSIE, his daughter LILLIAN GISH
PHIL, his elder son ELMER CLIFTON
TOD, the younger son ROBERT HARRON
JEFF, the blacksmith WALLACE REED
LYDIA BROWN, Stoneman's mulatto housekeeper MARY ALDEN
SILAS LYNCH, mulatto Lieutenant-Governor GEORGE SEIGMANN
GUS, a renegade negro WALTER LONG
ABRAHAM LINCOLN JOSEPH HENABERY
JOHN WILKES BOOTH RAOUL WALSH
GEN. U. S. GRANT DONALD CRISP
GEN. ROBT. E. LEE HOWARD GAYE
NELSE, an old-fashioned negro WILLIAM DeVAULL
JAKE, a black man faithful unto death WILLIAM FREEMAN
STONEMAN'S SERVANT THOMAS WILSON
Cabinet Members, Generals, Military Aides and Attaches, Secretaries, Senators, Representa- tives, Visitors, Soldiers, Abolitionists, Ku Klux Klansmen, Plantation Crowds and Mobs.
THE GRIFFITH TRADE MARK
All pictures produced by David W. Griffith have the name Griffith in the upper corners of the film and the initials D. G. on the lower border line. There are no exceptions to this rule. Mr. Griffith has several new productions under way which will be announced from time to time. His next big production will be "The Mother and the Law," a story of modern life in America.
Entire production under the personal direction of D. W. GRIFFITH
Photography by G. W. BITZER
Music by JOSEPH CARL BREIL
(Copyright 1915 by Theodore Mitchell
"The most beautiful picture eoer put on canvas, the finest statue ever carved, is a ridiculous caricature of real life compared with the flickering shadow of a tattered him in a backwoods nickelodeon."
^^]fl 1 1 K ii bo ve assertion was made by Dr. E. E. Slosson, of Columbia In
in an article entitled "The Birth of a New Art" which was published m the Independent of April 6th, 1914.
On April 1st, 1914, David Wark Griffith, the subject of this sketch, set to work laying the ground plans for a great picture which has since been introduced to the world under the name "The Birth of a Nation."
Neither Dr. Slosson nor Mr. Griffith knew of the other's mental processes. While one was proclaiming the dawn of a new era the other was at work upon the long looked- for American play. It is rare to find prophesy and fulfillment so closely linked together.
No discussion of the relationship of motion picture art to contemporary life can be complete without a knowledge of what D. W. Griffith has done to develop and enlarge the artistic standards of motion photography. There is in his work a distinctive touch of individual craftsmanship; an all embracing attention to detail which has come to be known as the Griffith art.
No form of expression seeking to reveal t e truths and beauties of life has ever made such progress within a given lapse of time as motion photography. Perhaps this is be- cause motion is the essence of realism and fife itself is but a part of the impulse of the universe, motion.
In developing the dramatic possibilities of the screen dramas Griffith has shown that he is not only a poet. He is a master technician. His accomplishments are the major part of the history of motion pictures in America. He is the creator of practi- cally every photographic and dramatic effect seen today. He is responsible for nearly every innovation of the past decade. He was the first producer to bring rhythm and perspective into motion pictures and make them the background of his story.
Griffith's poetic imagination stretches across dreamy dales, through swaying trees, back to distant mountains with their snow crested tops blazing in the sunlight, it reaches across the lapping waves of a deep blue sea to what seems the end of the universe. From one of these far away vistas he brings forth a young girl and shows her progress until she comes so close you see a tear drop quiver on her eyelid before it falls to her cheek. This you see so clearly that through her eyes you read her innermost emotions. It seems almost too intimate, too realistic.
And then in a flash you see great plains and on them nations grappling in their death throes and worlds battling for military supremacy. Such sequences and multiplicities of action appear quite simple now, yet they had to be carefully thought out. We say with pride that an American invented the technique required to produce them.
When Griffith began directing picture plays the idea of showing human beings otherwise than full length was regarded as rank heresy. He created the "close up."
When he first photographed the faces of his actors, withholding everything not essential to the needed effect, audiences that now applaud, showed their disapproval by stamp- ing their feet upon the floor. Critics said his characters did not walk into the pictures, but swam in without legs or arms. He next conceived the idea of the "switch back." By this device he shows a character under certain circumstances and the next instant by switching the action back to something seen before he makes you see what the char- acter is thinking of. An improvement upon the original idea he accomplished by the slow fading in and out of mystical or symbolic figures which make you see what other characters are thinking of, thus avoiding the harsh jumping from one scene to another which had been the rule before.
While Griffith was making these mechanical improvements he was keenly alive to the needs of improved screen acting. No ten other men in America have developed so many film favorites. He is a born director of people, and can discover latent talent in a camera recruit quicker than any other man in the world. He loves to work with raw material and see a young player blossom into the full power of poetic expression. His aim has been to produce natural acting. The old jumpy-see-sawing of the arms and pawing of the air, mis-named pantomime, has disappeared under his watchful care. In less than six years Griffith has made screen acting a formidable rival of that seen on the legitimate stage.
These developments are but details of the forward movement of the art of motion photography. The old stilted forms have passed. The motion picture artist must hence- forth be capable of taking infinite pains. He must have the poetic imagination and the technique to give expression to his dreams. With these requisites he becomes the super- artist of the new movement. This Griffith, whose vision leaps to the furtherest ends of the world of fancy — pausing here to note the smile in the eyes of Youth; then to see the shadow of sinister crime fall across the vision of unsuspecting Purity; picturing now a tear on a child's cheek; now a nation in the throes of war, while roses bloom and pas- toral scenes, such as Corot never dreamed of reproducing, form the background. These are the things that Griffith's art shows as no drama of the spoken word could hope to do. A new epic force illuminates human vision and human figures alive with the instincts and purposes of life obey the will of the super-artist.
This pioneer who has done so much to show the possibilities of this new art is un- responsive when it comes to his personal life. He thinks only of his work. He holds that people are interested in the deeds that men do, rather than in who the men are. We asked Mr. Griffith for a biographical sketch. He answered that he was born in Ken- tucky, that he grew up in a house like most boys; started out after his school and col- lege days to find his place in the world, and that since he went into the business of pro- ducing pictures he has lived most of the time under his hat.
A TRIBUTE TO
"THE BIRTH OF A NATION"
HEN a great achievement of human genius is put boforo us, we can become partners in it in a way by applauding it with something of the enthusiasm that wont into its making. It is that sort of collaboration that I am unpolled to attempt in what follows.
When I saw "The Birth of a Nation" the first time, I was so over- whelmed by the immensity of it that I said : "It makes the most spectacular production of drama look like the work of village amateurs. It reduces to childishness the biggest things the theatre can do."
For here were hundreds of scenes in place of four or five; thousands of actors in place of a score; armies in landscape instead of squads ot supers jostling on a platform among canvas screens. Here was the evolution of a people, the living chronicle of a conflict of statesmen, a civil war, a racial problem rising gradually to a puzzle yet un- solved. Here were social pictures without number, short stories, adventures, romances, tragedies, farces, domestic comedies. Here was a whole art gallery of scenery, of human- ity, of still life and life in wildest career. Here were portraits of things, of furniture, of streets, homes, wildernesses; pictures of conventions, cabinets, senates, mobs, armies; pictures of family life, of festivals and funerals, ballrooms and battlefields, hospitals and flower-gardens, hypocrisy and passion, ecstasy and pathos, pride and humiliation, rapture and jealousy, flirtation and anguish, devotion and treachery, self-sacrifice and tyranny. Here were the Southrons in their wealth, with their luxury at home, their wind-swept cotton fields; here was the ballroom with the seethe of dancers, here were the soldiers riding away to war, and the soldiers trudging home defeated with poverty ahead of them and new and ghastly difficulties arising on every hand.
Here was the epic of a proud brave people beaten into the dust and refusing to stay there.
The pictures shifted with unending variety from huge canvasses to exquisite minia- tures. Now it was a little group of refugees cowering in the ruins of a home. A shift of the camera and we were looking past them into a great valley with an army fighting its way through.
One moment we saw Abraham Lincoln brooding over his Emancipation Procla- mation; another, and he was yielding to a mother's tears; later we were in the crowded theatre watching the assassin making his way to and from his awful deed.
The leagues of film uncoiled and poured forth beauty of scene, and face and express- ion, beauty of fabric and attitude and motion.
"The Birth of a Nation" is a choral symphony of light, light in all its magic; the sun flashing through a bit of blown black lace and giving immortal beauty to its pattern; or quivering in a pair of eyes, or on a snow-drift of bridal veil, or on a moonlit brook or a mountain side. Superb horses were shown plunging and rearing or galloping with a
tout-quickening glory of sjxwi down road and lane and through flying waters. Now came the thrill of a charge, 01 oi a plunging steed caught hack 00 its haunches in | Mid- den arrest. Now followed the terror of a bestial niol), the hurrah of a retOUe, filled with panic and with carnival. Life is motion and hero \\;is the beautiful moving monument of motion.
"What could the Btage give to rival all this?" I thought. "What could the novel give? or the epic poem'.'" The Btage can publish the voice and the actual flesh; yet from the flhn these facts were eloquent enough without speech. And alter all when we see people we are merely receiving in our eyes the light that beats baok from their surfaces; we are seeing merely photographs and moving pictures.
I hail witnessed numberless photoplays unrolled, pictures of every sort and con- dition of interest and value. I had soon elaborate "feature-tilms" occupying much time and covering many scenes. But none of them approached the unbroken fascination of "The Birth of a Nation."
The realism of this work is amazing; merely sit at a window and actually roll by. The grandeur of mass and the minuteness of detail are unequalled in my experience. And so the first impression of my first view of this was that it was something new and wonderful in dramatic composition and in artistic achievement.
In his novel "The Clansman," the Rev. Thomas Dixon had made a fervid defence of his people from the harsh judgments and condemnations of unsympathetic historians. With this book as a foundation, David W. Griffith built up a structure of national scope and of heroic proportions.
Of course, size has little to do with art. A perfect statuette like one of the exquisite figurines of Tanagra is as great in a sense as the cathedral of Rheims. A flawless son- net of Milton's need not yield place to his "Paradise Lost." A short story of Poe's has nothing to fear from a cycle of Dumas novels, nor has "The Suwanee River" anything to fear from the Wagnerian tetralogy.
And yet we cannot but feel that a higher power has created the larger work, since the larger work includes the problems of the smaller; and countless others. The larger work compels and tests the tremendous gifts of organization, co-ordination, selection, discipline, climax.
One comes from this film saying: "I have done the South a cruel injustice, they are all dead, these cruelly tried people, but I feel now that I know them as they were; not as they ought to have been or might have been, but as they were; as I should prob- ably have been in their place. I have seen them in their homes, in their pride and their glory and I have seen what they went back to. I understand them better."
And after all what more vital mission has narrative and dramatic art than to make us understand one another better?
Hardly anybody can be found today who is not glad that Slavery was wrenched out of our national life, but it is not well to forget how and why it was defended, and by whom; what it cost to tear it loose, or what suffering and bewilderment were left with the bleeding wounds. The North was not altogether blameless for the existence of slavery, nor was the South altogether blameworthy for it or for its aftermath. "The Birth of a Nation" is a peculiarly human presentation of a vast racial tragedy.
There has been some hostility to the picture on account of an alleged injustice to the negroes. I have not felt it; and I am one who cherishes a great affection and a pro- found admiration for the negro. He is enveloped in one of the most cruel and insoluble
©EH. ROBT. K LEE'S LAST STAND ©N THE FAMOUS BATTLEFIELD OF PETERSBURG. VA,
riddles of history. His position is the more difficult since those who most ardently endeavor to relieve him of his burdens are peculiarly apt to increase them.
"The Birth of a Nation" presents many lovable negroes who win hearty applause from the audiences. It presents also some exceedingly hateful negroes. But American history has the same fault and there are bad whites also in this film as well as virtuous.
It is hard to see how such a drama could be composed without the struggle of evil against good. Furthermore, it is to the advantage of the negro of today to know how some of his ancestors misbehaved and why the prejudices in his path have grown there. Surely no friend of his is to be turned into an enemy by this film, and no enemy more deeply embittered,
"The Birth of a Nation" is a chronicle of human passion. It is true to fact and thoroughly documented. It is in no sense an appeal to lynch-law. The suppression of it would be a dangerous precedent in American dramatic art.
If the authors are never to make use of plots which might offend certain sects, sec- tions, professions, trades, races or political parties, then creative art is indeed in a sad plight.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" has had a long and influential career. Perhaps no book ever written exerted such an effect on history. It was denounced with fury by the South as a viciously unfair picture. It certainly stirred up feeling, and did more than perhaps any other document to create and set in motion the invasion and destruction of the southern aristocracy. Yet it was not suppressed because of its riot-provoking tenden- cies. And it is well that it was not suppressed.
"The Birth of a Nation" has no such purpose. It is a picture of a former time. All its phases are over and done, and most of the people of its time are in their graves. But it is a brilliant, vivid, thrilling masterpiece of historical fiction. Thwarting its prosperity would be a crime against creative art and a menace to its freedom. The suppression of such fictional works has always been one of the chief instruments of tyranny and one of the chief dangers of equality.
I saw the play first in a small projecting room with only half a dozen spectators present. We sat mute and spellbound for three hours. When I learned that it had to be materially condensed it seemed a pity to destroy one moment of it. The next time I saw it was in a crowded theatre and it was accompanied by an almost incessant mur- mur of approval and comment, roars of laughter, gasps of anxiety and outbursts of ap- plause. It was not silent drama so far as the audience was concerned.
The scene changed with the velocity of lightning, of thought. One moment we saw a vast battlefield with the enemies like midgets in the big world, the next we saw some small group filling the whole space with its personal drama; then just one or two faces big with emotion. And always a story was being told with every device of suspense, preparation, relief, development, and crisis.
I cannot imagine a human emotion that is not included somewhere in this story from the biggest national psychology to the littlest whim of a petulant girl; from the lowest depths of ruthless villainy to the utmost grandeur of patriotic ideal.
All of the seven wonders of the world were big things. I feel that David W. Griffith has done a big thing and he has a right to the garlands as well as the other emoluments. "The Birth of a Nation" is a work of epochal importance in a large and fruitful field of social endeavor. In paying it this tribute of profound homage, I feel that I am doing only my duty by American art, merely rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
A NATION IS BORN
MONG our fathers lived a poet-leader who dreamed a new vision of humanity — that out of the ^conflicting interests and character of thirteen American States, stretching their terri- tories from the frosts of the north to the tropic jungles of Florida, there could be built one mighty people. For eighty years this vision remained a dream — sectionalism and dis- unity the grimmest realities of our life.
Lord Cornwallis, the British Commander, had surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia to the allied armies of the Kingdom of France and the original thirteen States by name — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Through seventy-five years of growth 'and conflict these States clung to their individual sovereignty, feeling with jealous alarm the slow but resistless growth of a national spirit within the body of the Federal Union. This new being was stirred at last into conscious life by Daniel Webster's immortal words —
"LIBERTY AND UNION,
ONE AND INSEPARABLE,
NOW AND FOREVER!"
The issue, which our fathers had not dared to face — whether the State or the Union should ultimately have supreme rule — was joined in 1861 over the problem of the Negro.
The South held with passionate conviction that we were a Republic of Republics, each State free and sovereign. The North, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, held that the Union was indestructible and its sovereignty supreme.
Until Lincoln's day the right of each State to peaceful secession was scarcely dis- puted, North or South. New England had more than once threatened to withdraw long before South Carolina in her blind rage led the way.
And yet, unconsciously, the new being within had grown into a living soul, and, in the mortal agony of four years of Civil War and eight years of more horrible Recon- struction, a Nation was born.
THK STORY OF THE PICTURE
HE PIR8T ship that broughl ;i cargo of African slaves to North America Btarted the scries of troublous eve;, preceding the birth of a great nation. Abolition subsequently advocated, but the idea of social equality
never considered. The South declared it would secede, if in 1SG0 a Republican president was elected That president, Abraham Lincoln, issued a call for 75,000 volunteers. For the first time in American annals he used the Federal power to subdue the sovereignty of individual States.
The Stoneman boys of Pennsylvania had been house guests at Piedmont, S. C, of their boarding- school chums, the Cameron boys. Phil Stoneman and Margaret Cameron, "fair as a flower," had looked, longed and loved. Ben Cameron had never met Elsie Stoneman, yet the daguerreotype of her he had pilfered from Phil seemed about the dearest, sweetest thing in the world. The younger lads of the two houses — too young for sentiment and romance — frolicked like friendly young colts. Most charming and lovable of all the Cameron clan was the Doctor and Mrs. Cameron's youngest daughter Flora. When War casts its shadow over the land, Phil and Tod Stoneman are summoned to fight for the Stars and Stripes; Ben Cameron and his two younger brothers, for the Stars and Bars. The grim years drag along. Piedmont gayly enters the conflict, but ruin and devastation follow. The town gets a foretaste of rapine and pillage in the raid of a mixed body of white and colored guerillas against it. The scale of events inclines to the Union cause. Southern wealth and resources are burned or commandeered by Sherman in his march to the sea. Meantime two of the Cameron boys have perished in battle, one of them face to face with his dying Chum Tod. Grant is pressing the Con- federacy in the famous campaign around Petersburg. When Confederate supplies are running low, one of their provision trains is cut off and the "little Colonel," Ben Cameron, is called upon by Gen. Lee to lead a counter attack and thus, by diverting the enemy, aid in the rescue of the train. We see the panorama of a battlefield flung over many miles of mountain and valley, the opposing intrenchments and the artillery fire, Col. Cameron and his men forming for the advance, their charge over broken ground, the grim harvest of death that swept most of them away, the bayonet rush of the devoted few right up to the trenches, the physical hand-grapple with the enemy, and Cameron,
sole survivor, gaining the crest of the Federal works and falling wounded into the arms of Capt. Phil Stoneman, U. S. A., his erstwhile bosom friend. Prisoner in a Washington hospital, Ben Cameron slowly recovers from his wound. Like an angel of mercy Elsie Stoneman, Phil's sister, appears in the role of a volunteer nurse. Poor Ben falls des- perately in love with her whose picture he had carried about for years. She and Ben's mother visit Lincoln, "the Great Heart," who clears the "little Colonel" of an odious charge and hands Mrs. Cameron the boy's papers of release.
It seemed to Austin Stoneman, leader of Congress and Elsie's parent, that Lincoln was pursuing too mild a policy with the prostrate South. "I shall treat them as if they had never been away" was Lincoln's gentle answer to Stoneman's demand that the leaders be hanged and measures of reprisal adopted. What was there in Stoneman's life that made him so bitter to the Southern whites? Stoneman purposed to establish the complete political and social equality of the negroes. He was grooming a half-breed protege, one Silas Lynch, to go South as the "leader of his people."
The War ends in 1865 with the encirclement of the Southern army and the sur- render of Robert E. Lee to U. S. Grant in the historic house at Appomattox Courthouse- There follows a terrible tragedy — the assassination of President Lincoln by Wilkes Booth in the crowded scene of a festival performance at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. The South feels — and feels truly — that it has lost its best friend.
A few years later comes the real aftermath. Austin Stoneman, now supreme through the Congressional power of over-riding President Johnson's veto, goes south to supervise his "equality" programme. Elsie accompanies him, and so does Phil. They arrive in Piedmont and take a house next door to the Camerons. Elsie accepts the gallant little Confederate colonel, Ben Cameron, but the shadows of war-time hang too heavily over Margaret Cameron to permit her to make up at once with Phil. Meanwhile the reign of the carpet-baggers begins. The "Union League," so-called, wins the ensuing State election. Silas Lynch, the mulatto, is chosen Lieutenant-Governor. A legislature, with carpet-bag and negro members in overwhelming majority, loots the State. Lawlessness runs riot. Whites are elbowed off the streets, overawed at the polls, and often despoiled of their possessions. Ben Cameron then leads the white men of the country in organiz- ing the "invisible empire" of the Ku Klux Klan. Devoted women of the South make the white, ghost-like costumes behind locked doors. Austin Stoneman boils with rage over this newest development. Lynch's spies bring evidence that the garments are be- ing made by the Camerons and that Ben Cameron is night-riding. Stoneman bids Elsie to disavow her "traitorous" lover, and she, astonished and wounded that Ben is engaged is such work, gives him back his troth.
Little Flora Cameron, the joy and pride of the Cameron household, was sought after by the renegade family servant Gus, who had become a militiaman and joined Lynch's crew. Often had Flora been warned by her brother and parents never to go alone to the spring in the woods hard by the cliff called Lover's Leap. Little heeding the admonition, she took her pail one day and started off. Gus the renegade followed. Frightened by his approach, the little girl broke into a run. Gus ran too. Colonel Cameron, learning that she had gone alone, hastened forth and was the third person in the chase. Desperately the little girl zigzagged this way and that, dodging the burly pursuer, then, almost cornered, she climbed to the jutting edge of Lover's Leap whence, as Gus approached nearer, she leaped to her death. Brother 3en discovered the poor dying girl a few minutes later. Gus escaped, but he was afterwards captured, tried and
se-:sr[v£a.n's marsh to the ska- refugees flee:kg froih i ;ta
THE DOMING OF BHOTHEHLY LCTE r&JTO THE HALLS ©? PEACE
found guilty. Then the Ku Klnx Klan sent a messenger to the Titan of the adjoining county asking for re-inforcements to overawe the carpet-baggers and negroes.
The next outrage upon the unhappy family was the arrest of Dr. Cameron for having harbored the clansmen. As the soldiers were parading him to jail, Phil Stoneman, now a warm sympathizer with the southerons, and some others organized a rescue party. They beat down the militia; the Doctor and his wife, Margaret, Phil and the faithful servants fled out into the country where they found refuge and warm hospitality in the log cabin of two Union veterans. The cabin was fortified and preparations were made against the militia's attack.
We must now leave the handful of whites defending the log cabin from the militia- men and visit Lieutenant-Governor Lynch's mansion in Piedmont. Miss Elsie Stone- man is there on the errand of appealing to Lynch, the "friend" of her father in behalf of her brother and the Camerons. But instead Lynch siezes this opportunity to declare his "love" for his patron's beautiful daughter, says he will make her queen of his empire, and orders a negro chaplain to be sent for to perform a forced marriage. At this crucial moment, word is received of Congressman Stoneman's return. Lynch goes out to tell him that he (Lynch) aspires to the hand of the white man's daughter. Then Stoneman, the "social equalizer," the theoretical upholder of the intermarriage of blacks and whites, finds all his theories upset by the personal fact. Rage and storm as he will, Stoneman too is helpless. There is but one hope anywhere in prospect — the courageous and chi- valric host of Ku Klux riding for dear life towards Piedmont.
Ben Cameron, the "little Colonel," is at their head. They are armed to the teeth and pledged to victory or death. As they rush the little mountain town, their guns mow down the militia troops opposing them; the Lynch mansion is taken, and Ben and his men bursting into the room free the Stonemans, Ben taking the overjoyed Elsie in his arms. But there is other work afoot. Quickly a detachment of the clansmen remount and hurry to the scene of the attack of the cabin. The little party within its besieged walls are almost at the last gasp. The militia raiders are forcing the doors, already half a dozen of them have gained the inside of the cabin, when the crack! crack! crack! of the Ku Klux rifles announce rescue and safety. The surprise attack routs the raiders completely, and the men and women of the party hug and kiss their deliverers.
There is little left to tell. To Ben and Elsie, to Phil and Margaret, the sequel is a beautiful double honeymoon by the sea. To the American people, the outcome of four years of fratricidal strife, the nightmare of Reconstruction, and the establishment of the South in its rightful place, is the birth of a new nation. Lincoln's plan of restoring the negroes to Africa was dreamed of only, never carried out. The new nation, the real United States, as the years glided by, turned away forever from the blood-lust of War and anticipated with hope the world-millenium in which a brotherhood of love should bind all the nations together.
"THE BIRTH OF A NATION"
There are over 5,000 distinct scenes in "The Birth of a Nation."
18,000 people and 3,000 horses were Utilized in making the narrative.
Mr. Griffith worked for s months without a let np to complete the picture.
The approximate cost of the production was $500,000. The women's dresses of the period of I860 u^h\ np 12,000 yards of cloth. Over 25,000 yards of white material were sewed into the costumes of the Ku Klux Klans.
200 seamstresses worked for two months to make these costumes historically cor- rect and appropriately picturesque.
5,000 works and reports on the history of the Civil War and the periods immedi- ately leading up to and following the great conflict were searched for authentic data. This research was conducted by four college professors specially engaged upon it.
Every piece of ordnance or musketry in the battle scenes is an exact reproduction of the artillery and arms used on both sides during the war of the 60's.
For the assassination of President Lincoln, Ford's Theatre, Washington, was re- produced to the smallest detail. The scene itself was taken in the presence of several eye witnesses of the actual occurrence. These witnesses were in Ford's Theatre the night John Wilkes Booth's shot laid the great Lincoln low.
To depict the ravages of Sherman's March to the Sea, a city was specially built, only to be destroyed before the eyes of the spectators of the picture.
$10,000 a day was paid for the use of an entire county in order to reproduce the wild rides of the Klansmen.
West Point engineers laid out the great battle scene of Petersburg from maps and reports in the War Department at Washington. Intimate details of the action supplied by veterans who fought on either side.
Night photography was perfected for the first time to secure battle scenes in the dark. This detail cost $5,000.
Great artillery duels actually reproduced. Specially prepared shells exploded at a cost of $80 each.
A commissary and two hospital corps were maintained while the pictures were be- ing taken. Not a human life was lost.
A musical score for 40 pieces composed and minutely synchronized to several thou- sand individual scenes.
The condensed production represents 12,000 feet of film. Nearly 200,000 feet of film was originally taken.
Recognition of a New Art
"The Birth of a Nation" as presented by Mr. D. W. Griffith in New York City was a revelation that raised the standard of motion pictures one thousand per cent, in a night. It was a radical departure to present this photographic spectacle in one of the first-class metropolitan theatres which had never been used for a motion picture production before. A further daring achievement was to present the work at the same scale of prices charged for the finest dramatic offerings on the New York stage. The reception of the production was quite as unusual. All the recognized New York critics attended the opening per- formance, many for the first time writing a serious review of a picture drama. The chorus of praise was unanimous as well as astonishing. This united verdict was but a repetition of the wonderful things said of the work by men in every walk of life. U. S. Senators, Congressmen, artists, writers, illustrators, diplomats, historians, clergymen, in fact men of every profession expressed their appreciation in no uncertain terms. A few extracts from this world-wide chorus will serve to illustrate the case:
"It shows war as it actually is."
—Richard Harding Davis
"In the short space of three hours the audience sees, hears and feels a period of fifteen years."
— Rev. Father John Talbot Smith
"It will take the whole country by storm."
— Booth Tarkington
"I know it is true because I lived through the actual realities it depicts."
— Rev. Thomas B. Gregory
"It is worth $5 a seat." — N .Y '.Evening Journal
"You see, as the angels looking down from Heaven must have seen, exactly what took place fifty years ago." —Dorothy Dix
"The biggest attraction of the season. It brings the audiences to their feet as no theatrical play has in many, many years."
—James S. Metcalfe, in Life
"The most glorious accomplishment in any art I have ever seen."
—Governor Hiram Johnson of California
"Only a genius could have conceived and pro- duced such an inspiring spectacle."
— Amy Leslie, Chicago Daily News
"The true greatness of the picture lies in its emotional appeal." —New York News
"A new epoch in the art is reached."
— New York Herald "It is big and fine." — Evening World
"Wins popularity because of its thrilling war scenes." —New York Tribune
"A masterpiece of a new form of art."
— Chicago Tribune
'■ '/ i
«. 9k > *//
/ "Never before has such a combination of spec- tacle and tense drama been seen." _w. Y. Sun
"Achieved a striking degree of success."
— New York Times
'Made a profound impression.
-N. Y. Press
"Swept a sophisticated audience like a prairie fire before a whirlwind." —New York Mail
"Beyond doubt the most extraordinary picture that has been seen." —New York Globe
On December 26, 1863, on the orders of The Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln,
38 Sioux Native Americans were mass hanged in Mankota, Minnesota.
Lincoln's mass execution record has not been broken. And on the Eight'O
May, 1863, Lincoln "freed the slaves" with his Emancipation
Proclamation in all the slave states. He did provide that if a "slave
states" were to return to the Union, they could keep their slaves.
Lincoln wanted to save the Union. The Mass Execution of Thirty-Eight Sioux
at Mankota, Minnesota On 26December 1862.
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|Sarah Palin’s Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues|
Valley Beacon blog
1. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing
Perhaps no issue is of greater importance to Alaska Native peoples as the right to hunt and fish according to ancient customary and traditional practices, and to carry on the subsistence way of life for future generations. Governor Sarah Palin has consistently opposed those rights.
Once in office, Governor Palin decided to continue litigation that seeks to overturn everysubsistence fishing determination the federal government has ever made in Alaska. (State of Alaska v. Norton, 3:05-cv-0158-HRH (D. Ak).) In pressing this case, Palin decided against using the Attorney General (which usually handles State litigation) and instead continued contracting with Senator Ted Stevens’ brother-in-law’s law firm.(Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot).
The goal of Palin’s law suit is to invalidate all the subsistence fishing regulations thefederal government has issued to date to protect Native fishing, and to force the courts instead to take over the roll of setting subsistence regulations. Palin’s law suit seeks to diminish subsistence fishing rights in order to expand sport and commercial fishing.
In May 2007, the federal court rejected the State’s main challenge, holding that Congressin 1980 had expressly granted the U.S. Interior and Agriculture Departments the authority to regulate and protect Native and rural subsistence fishing activities in Alaska. (Decision entered May 15, 2007 (Dkt. No. 110).) Notwithstanding this ruling, Palin continues to argue in the litigation that the federal subsistence protections are too broad, and should be narrowed to exclude vast areas from subsistence fishing, in favor of sport and commercial fishing. Palin opposes subsistence protections in marine waters, on many of the lands that Natives selected under their 1971 land claims settlement with the state and federal governments, and in many of the rivers where Alaska Natives customarily fish. (Alaska Complaint at 15-18.) Palin also opposes subsistence fishing protections on Alaska Native federal allotments that were deeded to individuals purposely to foster Native subsistence activities. All these issues are now pending before the federal district court.
2. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Hunting
Palin has also sought to invalidate critical determinations the Federal Subsistence Board has made regarding customary and traditional uses of game, specifically to take hunting opportunities away from Native subsistence villagers and thereby enhance sport hunting.
Palin’s attack here on subsistence has focused on the Ahtna Indian people in Chistochina. Although the federal district court has rejected Palin’s challenge, she has carried on an appealthat was argued in August 2008. (State of Alaska v. Fleagle, No. 07-35723 (9th Cir.).)
In both hunting and fishing matters, Palin has continued uninterrupted the policies initiated by the former Governor Frank Murkowski Administration, challenging hunting and fishing protections that Native people depend upon for their subsistence way of life in order to enhance sport fishing and hunting opportunities. Palin’s lawsuits are a direct attack on the core way of life of Native Tribes in rural Alaska.
3. Palin has attacked Alaska Tribal Sovereignty
Governor Palin opposes Alaska tribal sovereignty. Given past court rulings affirming the federally recognized tribal status of Alaska Native villages, Palin does not technically challenge that status. But Palin argues that Alaska Tribes have no authority to act as sovereigns, despite their recognition.
So extreme is Palin on tribal sovereignty issues that she has sought to block tribes from exercising any authority whatsoever even over the welfare of Native children, adhering to a 2004 legal opinion issued by the former Murkowski Administration that no such jurisdiction exists (except when a state court transfers a matter to a tribal court). Both the state courts and the federal courts have struck down Palin’s policy of refusing to recognize the sovereign authority of Alaska Tribes to address issues involving Alaska Native children. Native Village of Tanana v. State of Alaska, 3AN-04-12194 CI (judgment entered Aug. 26, 2008) (Ak. Super. Ct.); Native Kaltag Tribal Council v. DHHS, No. 3:06-cv-00211-MB (D. Ak.), pending on appeal No 08-35343 (9th Cir.)). Nonetheless, Palin’s policy of refusing to recognize Alaska tribal sovereignty remains unchanged.
4. Palin has attacked Alaska Native Languages
Palin has refused to accord proper respect to Alaska Native languages and voters by refusing to provide language assistance to Yup'ik speaking Alaska Native voters. As a result, Palin was just ordered by a special three-judge panel of federal judges to provide various forms of voter assistance to Yup'ik voters residing in southwest Alaska. Nick v. Bethel, No. 3:07-cv- 0098-TMB (D. Ak.) (Order entered July 30, 2008).
Citing years of State neglect, Palin wasordered to provide trained poll workers who are bilingual in English and Yup'ik; sample ballots in written Yup'ik; a written Yup'ik glossary of election terms; consultation with local Tribes to ensure the accuracy of Yup'ik translations; a Yup'ik language coordinator; and pre-election and post-election reports to the court to track the State's efforts.
In sum, measured against some the rights that are most fundamental to Alaska Native Tribes –the subsistence way of life, tribal sovereignty and voting rights – Palin’s record is a failure.
Posted by David Newquist at 1:51 PM
|WMR: Commentary: Obama and race baiting April 29 - May 1, 2011 --|
Many Americans would agree that racism has no place in American political discourse. However, the noise from Barack Obama's pathetic cheerleaders and lickspittles and popinjays, all political hacks who parrot the White House, Democratic National Committee, and DNC affiliates' lines that any investigation of Obama or his family's background amounts to racism, is laughable.
While few would argue that Donald Trump is a shameless self-promoter and egomaniac, equally outrageous are the racism claims from real life versions of "Max Headroom" -- Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan, Thom Hartmann, and the rest of the Obama peanut gallery -- who claim that to raise any issue about Obama's past is patent racism. News to all these corporate promoters of Obama: racism charges by Obama's gang amounts to blatant ignorance of serious academic and journalistic research of Obama and his family's history.
And Obama, himself, has engaged in racist tactics in answering ihs critics. Obama and his wife appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Chicago-based show to decry those who question his past as a "sideshow" and "carnival barkers." It is clear what demographic Obama was trying to stir up. Ratings show that daytime broadcast television is largely viewed by stay-at-home mothers: white, Hispanic, and African-American. However, the Oprah show attracts a majority of at-home African-American women. Furthermore, Oprah has been a long-time promoter of Obama since his days in Chicago and Illinois politics. Not even Larry King could come up with questions for Obama that were more softball in nature.
Obama had the opportunity to put to rest the controversy arising from his short-form Hawaii Certificate of Live Birth. He did not. The politically-correct race designation of "African" vice "Negro" was carried over from the short to long form certificate. Barack Obama, Sr. could have told the Honolulu registrar of birth that he was a "Martian" in 1961, but his race would have still been listed under the official Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and U.S. Census Bureau designation as "Negro," not "African." The continued term on the long-form certificate indicates that both short and long form documents are patent forgeries.
For those forgers who decided that "Negro" was too racist to include on Obama's certificates of live birth, it should be pointed out that in 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King said the following: "Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them." In his autobiography, Malcolm X wrote, "The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities -- he is only reacting to 400 years of the conscious racism of the American whites."
Several individuals, including this editor, do not doubt that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. However, Obama's time in Indonesia where he was adopted by Indonesian national Lolo Soetoro and was known as "Barry Soetoro" is where the questions begin on Obama's eligibility to hold the office of President. If Obama had obtained Indonesian citizenship, obtained an Indonesian passport, entered Occidental College as an Indonesian national on a scholarship reserved for foreign students, obtained a British passport on the account of Barack Obama, Sr.'s British Commonwealth citizenship, Obama, whether or not he was operating as a Central Intelligence Agency asset or agent, is not constitutionally eligible to be the President of the United States. It is the Constitution of the United States that determines who may serve as President, not Donald Trump, white racists, Tea Party activists, Obama's political snake oil salesmen, or anyone else. If dual nationality now permits someone to serve as President, what does that portend for the future? There are a number of U.S. politicians who are eligible for and may hold foreign citizenship. Dual U.S.-Israelis serve as a case in point.
It is being reported that notes from 1968 point to Robert F. Kennedy's convicted assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, being led into the Ambassador Hotel on that fateful June 1968 Democratic primary night by a mysterious woman wearing a polka-dot dress. Sirhan and his lawyer claim that the woman was a controller of some nature. In the years subsequent to Bobby Kennedy's assassination, the CIA's MK-ULTRA mind control and targeted assassination program has been revealed in declassified documents. 1968 was the year after Stanley Ann Dunham, who appears to be just as mysterious as the polka-dot dress clad woman in the Ambassador Hotel, took Barack Obama, Jr. to Indonesia, where the CIA and Lolo Soetoro's Indonesian army were mopping up opponents to the 1965 anti-Communist coup by targeting them for assassination. Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro's "field anthropology" work in Java appears to have been a part of the CIA's use of anthropologists for covert operations, anthropology activities exposed and condemned in the Dr. Ralph Beals report that was commissioned by the American Anthropological Association and published in 1968.
The 1960s were the heyday of the CIA's top secret mind control operations and CIA Director Richard Helms referred to the University of Hawaii in a 1971 memo as one of Langley's long-standing top five universities for the CIA's "behavioral science" program. Not only do the paths of Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack Obama, Sr., and Lolo Soetori crisscross at the University of Hawaii, but so does that of Stanley Armour Dunham, Obama's grandfather. After all, it was Mr. Dunham who welcomed Barack Sr. to Honolulu airport as part of the CIA's Airlift Africa program to train young Africans to be future CIA-controlled leaders in newly-independent African states like Kenya, which became independent of Britain in 1963.
It is the fact that Stanley Ann Dunham may have been a virtual CIA "baby machine" and that Barack Obama, Sr. may not even be President Obama's father that is also at the center of the Obama controversy, minus the conventional birth certificate debate. As a young woman, Ann Dunham seemed to have such a penchant for having babies with Third World nationals like Obama, Sr. and Soetoro, there is the potential that MK-ULTRA or an affiliated CIA program was seriously at play. Informed WMR sources have also pointed to the fact that young Ann accompanied her father on a CIA mission to Cuba in 1960 and that Obama's father may have been an Afro-Cuban she met during the trip. We'll never know where Ann Dunham was prior to 1968 -- her passport records prior to that year were "inadvertently" destroyed by the State Department.
Hawaii Republican state senator Sam Slom has indicated that Obama was, indeed, born in Honolulu but questions who Obama's father is. The birth certificate controversy is a side issue. The answers to Obama are found in his, his mother's, and his maternal grandparent's employment history, security clearances held, passport records, Obama Jr.'s Connecitcut-issued Social Security Number, Occidental College financial aid files, and Occidental and Columbia University academic records. The CIA is likely manufacturing more forgeries that will be released as we approach the 2012 presidential election and the Obama cheerleaders in the corporate media will praise them as "transparent" and "authentic."
The fact that an only child like Ann Dunham would have more Third World penises inserted in her than a urinal at the United Nations Delegate's Lounge should raise eyebrows, especially considering her father's relationship with the CIA and her own later relationship with the CIA through her employment with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ford Foundation.
Barack Obama, Jr. is a political chimera who uses his race and his religious history to his (and likely, the CIA's) advantage. At Occidental in Los Angeles, Obama rattled off Marxist dogma, thus ingratiating to some, but not all, Marxists and leftists on campus. Some Marxists considered Obama too doctrinaire, and like Lee Harvey Oswald's pro-Castro rhetoric in New Orleans, was not fully trusted by those he claimed to have political affinity. At his post-Columbia employer, the CIA front company Business International Corporation, Obama was aloof and cool, being more "white" than "black" and totally immersing himself into the corporate expensive business suit culture a block from United Nations headquarters. After arriving in south Chicago, Barry Obama was the hip African-American trying to amass as much intelligence as he could on the foreign (including Libyan) connections of the El Rukn gang, New Black Panther Party, and Nation of Islam centered in the blighted neighborhood. While in Indonesia and Pakistan in the early 1980s, it was Barry Soetoro, the dark-skinned guy with the Indonesian last name and Muslim school education in Jakarta who re-established links with his old pals from Jakarta and Pakistani students from Occidental. As an Illinois politician, it was Barack Obama, Jr., the son of a white mother and Kenyan father who stressed his African-American roots. At the onset of his presidency, it was Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., who stressed his Muslim links through his alleged Kenyan father and Indonesian step-father Lolo Soetoro, who reached out to the Arab and Muslim worlds in heralded speeches in Cairo and Istanbul.
After eight disastrous years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and his multi-cultural, multi-religious, bi-racial, and international background was viewed as a prescription to cure America of policies implemented during its sharp turn toward fascism at home and imperialism abroad. However, Obama and his continued support for neo- CONSERVATIVE 1% policies shows him to have been a mere placebo designed to hoodwink the American people and people around the globe.
President Obama calls those who want a full accounting of his and his family's background "side show" acts and "carnival barkers" to an audience of fawning Oprah Winfrey fans. That does not represent racism to Obama's cheerleaders? Obama staffers, schooled in the thuggish politics of Chicago, threaten this editor, the San Francisco Chronicle, Larry Sinclair and anyone else who criticizes Obama proving that Obama, just like Richard Nixon, does not hesitate to browbeat those who delve into his chicanery.
Wayne Madsen is the editor of WayneMadsenReport.com and the author of a forthcoming book on Obama's and his family's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency.
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