The Birth of a Nation

1
       GRIFFITH 

     FEATURE FILMS

Produced Exclusively by 

    D. W. Griffith

2
This is the trade mark of the Griffith feature 
films. All pictures made under the personal 
direction of D. W. Griffith have the name "Griffith" 
in the border line, with the initials "DG" at bottom 
of captions. There is no exception to this rule. 

                    D. W. Griffith [signature]

3
For the characters in the play see
the printed programs.

Production under the personal 
direction of D. W. Griffith.

Story arranged by D. W. Griffith
and Frank E. Woods.

Photography--G. W. Bitzer.


4
       A PLEA FOR THE ART OF THE 
            MOTION PICTURE

  We do not fear censorship, for we have 
no wish to offend with improprieties or 
obscenities, but we do demand, as a 
right, the liberty to show the dark side of 
wrong, that we may illuminate the bright 
side of virtue - the same liberty that is 
conceded to the art of the written word 
- that art to which we owe the Bible and 
the works of Shakespeare.

5
          D. W. GRIFFITH 

             presents 

      The Birth of a Nation 

  Adapted from Thomas Dixon's novel 

           "The Clansman"

                        COPYRIGHT 1915
COPYRIGHT 1915          EPOCH PRODUCING  
DAVID W. GRIFFITH       CORPORATION AND
CORPORATION             THOMAS DIXON

6
If in this work we have conveyed 
to the mind the ravages of war to 
the end that war may be held in 
abhorrence, this effort will not have 
been in vain.

7
The bringing of the African to 
America planted the first seed of 
disunion.

8
The Abolitionists of the Nineteenth
Century demanding the freeing of 
the slaves. 

9
In 1860 a great parliamentary leader, 
whom we will call Austin Stoneman, was 
rising to power in the National House 
of representatives. 

We find him with his young daughter, 
Elsie, in her apartments in Washington.

10
Some time later.

Elsie with her brothers at 
the Stoneman country home 
in Pennsylvania.

11
In the Southland. 

Piedmont, South Carolina, 
the home of the Camerons, 
where life runs in a quaintly 
way that is to be no more.

12
Bennie Cameron, the 
eldest son.

13
Margaret Cameron, a 
daughter of the South, 
trained in the manners of 
the old school.

14
The mother, and the 
little pet sister.

15
The kindly master of 
Cameron Hall.

16
Hostilities.

17
The visit of the Stoneman 
boys to their Southern friends.

18
Chums-- 
the younger sons.

North and South.

19
"Where did you 
       get that hat?"

20
Over the plantation to 
the cotton fields.

21
By Way of Love Valley.

22
He finds the ideal of his 
dreams in the picture of Elsie 
Stoneman, his friend's sister, 
whom he has never seen.

23
In the slave quarters.

The two-hour interval given for 
dinner, out of their working day 
from six till six.

24
The Gathering Storm. 

The power of the sovereign states, 
established when Lord Cornwallis 
surrendered to the individual colonies 
in 1781, is threatened by the new 
administration.

25
The Stoneman library in Wash-
ington, where his daughter never 
visits.

Charles Sumner, leader of the 
Senate, confers with the master of 
Congress.

26
Lydia Brown, 
      Stoneman's 
         housekeeper

27
The mulatto aroused from 
ambitious dreamings by 
Sumner's curt orders.

28
The great leader's weakness 
that is to blight a nation.

29
The visitors called back to 
their northern home.

The chums promise to meet 
again.

30
Young Stonemans vows the old 
vow that his only dreams shall be 
of her till they meet again.

31
The First Call for 75,000 Vol-
unteers. President Lincoln signing 
the proclamation.

	AN HISTORICAL FACSIMILE 
	of the President's Executive 
	Office on that occasion, after 
	Nicolay and Hay in "Lincoln, 
	A History"

32
Abraham Lincoln uses the 
Presidential office for the first 
time in history to call for 
volunteers to enforce the rule 
of the coming nation over the 
individual states.

33
The Stoneman brothers 
departing to join their 
regiment. 

34
After the first battle of 
Bull Run. 

Piedmont's farewell ball on the 
eve of the departure of its quota of 
troops for the front.

35
Bonfire celebration
in the streets.

36
While youth dances the 
night away, childhood and 
old age slumber.

37
The first flag of the 
Confederacy, baptized in 
glory at Bull Run.

38
Daybreak.

The time set for the 
troops' departure. 

39
The assembly call. 

40
Their state flag.

The spirit of the South.

41
A mother's gift to the 
cause -- three sons off 
for the war. 

42
Elsie on her return to her aunt's 
home in Washington tells her father 
of her brothers' leaving for the front.

43
Two and a half years later.

Ben Cameron in the field has 
a letter from home.

44
News from the front.

Little sister wears her last 
good dress as a ceremonial to 
the reading of her brother's 
letter.

45
Piedmont scarred by 
the war. 

An irregular force of 
guerillas raids the town. 

	The first negro regiments 
	of the war were raised in 
	South Carolina.

46
The scalawag white captain 
influences the negro militia to 
follow his orders.

47
A company of Confederate state 
troops informed of the raid.

48
The Confederates to 
the rescue.

49
After the rescue.

50
Letters from home revive 
tender reveries for "the little 
Colonel."

51
On the battlefield.

War claims its bitter, useless 
sacrifice. 

True to their promise, the 
chums meet again.

52
News of the death of 
the youngest Cameron.

53
Others also read war's 
sad page.

54
The last of their dearest 
possessions to be sold for the 
failing cause. 

55
Elsie Stoneman goes as a 
nurse in the military 
hospitals.

56
While the women and 
children weep, a great 
conqueror marches to the 
sea.

57
The torch of war against 
the breast of Atlanta.

The bombardment and 
flight.

58
The death of the second 
Cameron son.

59
The last grey days of the 
Confederacy.

On the battle lines before 
Petersburg, parched corn their 
only rations. 

60
A sorely-needed food train of 
the Confederates is misled on 
the wrong road and cut off on 
the other side of the Union lines.

61
General Lee orders an attempt 
to break through and rescue the 
food train.

A bombardment and a flanking 
movement are started to cover 
the charge.

62
The action before 
daybreak with artillery 
duel in distance.

63
"The little Colonel" receives 
his orders to charge at an 
appointed moment. 

64
The intrenchments of the 
opposing armies separated by 
only a few hundred feet. 

65
The masked batteries.

66
The field artillery.

67
The mortars.

68
"The little Colonel" leads the 
final desperate assault against 
the Union command of Capt. 
Phil Stoneman.

69
Two lines of intrenchments 
taken but only a remnant of his 
regiment remains to continue the 
advance.

70
All hope gone, "the little 
Colonel" pauses before the 
last charge to succor a fallen 
foe.

71
The Unionists cheer the 
heroic deed.

72
In the red lane of death others 
take their places and the battle 
goes on into the night.

73
War's peace.

74
The North victorious.

75
News of the death of their 
second son and of the eldest 
being near death in a Wash-
ington hospital.

76
War, the breeder of hate.

77
The woman's part.

78
The "little Colonel" in the 
military hospital set up in the 
Patents Office where Elsie 
Stoneman is a nurse. 

79
"Though we had never met, 
I have carried you about with me 
for a long, long time." 

80
Mother Cameron comes 
from Piedmont to visit her 
stricken eldest boy. 

81
"I am going into that room 
to my boy. You may shoot 
if you want to."

82
The army surgeon tells of a 
secret influence that has con-
demned Col. Cameron to be 
hanged as a guerilla.

83
"We will ask mercy from 
the Great Heart." 

84
The mother's appeal

85
"Mr. Lincoln has given 
back your life to me." 

86
Her son convalescent, Mrs. 
Cameron starts back for 
Piedmont to attend the failing 
father.

87
Back at home with 
the good news. 

88
Appomattox Courthouse, on the 
afternoon of April 9, 1865, the sur-
render of Gen. Robt. E. Lee, C.S.A., 
to Gen. U. S. Grant, U.S.A.

	AN HISTORICAL FACSIMILE 
	of the Wilmer McLean home as 
	on that occasion, and the principals 
	and their staffs, after Col. Horace 
	Porter in "Campaigning with 
	Grant."

89
The end of state sovereignty.

The soul of Daniel Webster calling 
to America: "Liberty and union, 
one and inseparable, now and 
forever." 

90
The same day, Col. 
Cameron is discharged 
and leaves for home. 

91
The feast for the returning 
brother. 

Parched corn and sweet potato 
coffee. 

92
"Southern ermine", from 
raw cotton, for the grand 
occasion.

93
The homecoming.

94
The Radical leader's protest 
against Lincoln's policy of 
clemency for the South.

95
"Their leaders must be 
hanged and their states 
treated as conquered 
provinces." 

96
"I shall deal with them as 
though they had never been 
away." 

97
The South under Lincoln's 
fostering hand goes to work 
to rebuild itself.

98
"And then, when the terrible days 
were over and a healing time of 
peace was at hand"......came the 
fated night of April 14, 1865.

99
To the theatre.

100
A gala performance to celebrate 
the surrender of Lee, attended by 
the President and his staff. 

The young Stonemans present. 

	AN HISTORICAL FACSIMILE 
	of Ford's theatre as on that night, 
	exact in size and detail, with the 
	recorded incidents, after Nicolay 
	and Hay in "Lincoln, a History"

101
The play: "Our American 
Cousin," starring Laura 
Keene. 

102
Time, 8:30.

The arrival of the President, 
Mrs. Lincoln, and party.

103
Mr. Lincoln's personal 
bodyguard takes his post 
outside the Presidential 
box.

104
To get a view of the play, 
the bodyguard leaves his 
post.

105
Time, 10:13.

Act III, Scene 2.

106
John Wilkes Booth

107
"Sic semper tyrannis!" 

108
Stoneman told of the 
assassination.

109
"You are now the greatest 
power in America."

110
The news is received 
in the South.

111
"Our best friend is gone. 
What is to become of us 
now!" 

112
End of the first part.

113
The Birth of a Nation

Second Part -- Reconstruction. 

The agony which the South 
endured that a nation might 
be born.

The blight of war does not end 
when hostilities cease.

114
This is an historical presentation 
of the Civil War and Reconstruction 
Period, and is not meant to reflect on 
any race or people of today.

115
Excerpts from Woodrow Wilson's 
"History of the American People":

"..... Adventurers swarmed out of the 
North, as much enemies of the one race 
as of the other, to cozen, beguile, and use 
the negroes..... In the villages the negroes 
were the office holders, men who knew none 
of the uses of authority, except its insolences."

116
".... The policy of the congressional 
leaders wrought ... a veritable overthrow 
of civilization in the South ..... in their 
determination to 'put the white South 
under the heel of the black South.'"

		WOODROW WILSON

117
"The white men were roused by 
a mere instinct of self-preservation 
..... until at last there had sprung 
into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, 
a veritable empire of the South, to 
protect the Southern country."

		WOODROW WILSON

118
The uncrowned king.

The Executive Mansion of the 
Nation has shifted from the 
White House to this strange 
house on the Capitol Hill. 

119
Stoneman's protege, 
Silas Lynch, mulatto 
leader of the blacks. 

120
"Don't scrape to me. 
You are the equal of 
any man here." 

121
The great Radical delivers 
his edict that the blacks shall 
be raised to full equality with 
the whites.

122
Senator Sumner calls.

Forced to recognize the 
mulatto's position. 

123
The Senator urges a less 
dangerous policy in the 
extension of power to the 
freed race. 

124
"I shall make this man, 
Silas Lynch, as a symbol of 
the race, the peer of any 
white man living.

125
Sowing the Wind.

Stoneman, ill at his daughter's 
apartments, sends Lynch South to 
aid the carpetbaggers in organ-
izing and wielding the power of 
the negro vote.

126
Lynch makes Piedmont 
his headquarters. 

127
Starting the ferment.

The black party celebration.

Inducing the negroes to quit 
work. 

128
The Freedman's Bureau.

The negroes getting free supplies.

The charity of a generous North 
misused to delude the ignorant.

129
"This sidewalk belongs to 
us as much as it does to you, 
'Colonel' Cameron."

130
Stoneman, advised by his physician 
to seek a milder climate and desiring 
to see his policies carried out at first 
hand, leaves for South Carolina.

131
Their arrival in Piedmont.

Influenced by his children he has 
selected the home town of the 
Camerons for his sojourn. 

132
"Yo' northern low down 
black trash, don't try no 
airs on me." 

133
"Dem free-niggers f'um 
de N'of am sho' crazy."

134
Lynch's second meeting 
with "the little Colonel."

The black's condescension.

135
Lynch a traitor to his white patron 
and a greater traitor to his own people, 
whom he plans to lead by an evil way 
to build himself a throne of vaulting 
power.

136
The Southern Union 
League rally before the 
election. 

137
Stoneman the guest 
of honor.

138
Enrolling the negro vote.

The franchise for all blacks. 

139
"Ef I doan' get 'nuf 
franchise to fill mah bucket, 
I doan' want it nohow."

140
The love strain is still heard 
above the land's miserere.

141
The love token.

142
Bitter memories will not 
allow the poor bruised 
heart of the South to forget.

143
Still a North and a South.

Pride battles with love for the 
heart's conquest.

144
"I'll watch you safely 
home."

145
Love's rhapsodies and 
love's tears.

146
Election day. 

All blacks are given the ballot, 
while the leading whites are 
disfranchised.

147
Receiving the returns.

The negroes and carpetbaggers 
sweep the state.

148
Silas Lynch is elected 
Lieut. Governor.

149
Celebrating their victory 
at the polls.

150
Encouraged by Stoneman's 
radical doctrines, Lynch's 
love looks high.

151
"The little Colonel" relates 
a series of outrages that have 
occurred.

152
"The case was tried before a 
negro magistrate and the verdict 
rendered against the whites by 
the negro jury."

153
Even while he talks, their own 
faithful family servant is punished 
for not voting with the Union 
League and Carpetbaggers. 

154
The faithful soul enlists 
Dr. Cameron's sympathy.

155
The riot in the Master's Hall.

The Negro party in control in the 
State House of Representatives, 101 
blacks against 23 whites, session 
of 1871. 

	AN HISTORICAL FACSIMILE 
	of the State House of Represent-
	atives of South Carolina as it was 
	in 1870. After photograph by 
	"The Columbia State"

156
Historic incidents from the first 
legislative session under Recon-
struction.

157
The honorable member 
for Ulster.

158
The speaker rules that all 
members must wear shoes.

159
It is moved and carried that 
all whites must salute negro 
officers on the streets. 

160
The helpless white minority. 

161
White visitors in the 
gallery.

162
Passage of a bill, providing 
for the intermarriage of blacks 
and whites. 

163
Later.

The grim reaping begins.

164
Gus, the renegade, a 
product of the vicious 
doctrines spread by the 
carpetbaggers.

165
The "little Colonel" orders 
Gus to keep away.

166
In agony of soul over the 
degradation and ruin of his 
people.

167
The inspiration.

168
The result. 

The Ku Klux Klan, the organiza-
tion that saved the South from the 
anarchy of black rule, but not without 
the shedding of more blood than at 
Gettysburg, according to Judge 
Tourgee of the carpet-baggers. 

169
Their first visit to terrorize 
a negro disturber and barn 
burner.

170
Lynch's supporters score 
first blood against the Ku 
Klux.

171
The new rebellion 
of the South.

172 
"We shall crush the white 
South under the heel of the 
black South."

173
"Your lover belongs to 
this murderous band of 
outlaws." 

174
The tryst.

Confirmed in her suspicions, 
in loyalty to her father, she breaks 
off the engagement.

175
"But you need not fear that 
I will betray you." 

176
Over four hundred thousand 
Ku Klux costumes made by the 
women of the South and not one 
trust betrayed.

177
Little sister consoles the 
disconsolate lover.

178
Against the brother's 
warning, she goes alone 
to the spring.

179
"You see, I'm a Captain 
now - and I want to marry -"

180
"Wait, missie, I won't 
hurt yeh."

181
"Stay away or I'll jump!" 

182
For her who had learned the 
stern lesson of honor, we should 
not grieve that she found sweeter 
the opal gates of death.

183
And none grieved more 
than these.

184
The son's plea against his 
father's radical policy.

185
Gus hides in "white-arm" 
Joe's ginmill. 

186
Townsmen enlisted in the search 
of the accused Gus, that he may be 
given a fair trial in the dim halls of 
the Invisible Empire.

187
The trial.

188
Guilty.

189
On the steps of the Lieut. 
Governor's house.

The answer to the blacks 
and carpetbaggers. 

190
Morning. 

191
Lynch accepts the challenge 
by ordering negro militia 
reinforcements to fill the 
streets. 

192
Having embroiled Lynch in the 
uprising, Stoneman takes his 
temporary departure to avoid the 
consequences.

193
The Clans prepare for 
action.

194
"Brethren, this flag bears the red 
stain of the life of a Southern woman, 
a priceless sacrifice on the altar of an 
outraged civilization.

195
"Here I raise the ancient symbol 
of an unconquered race of men, the 
fiery cross of old Scotland's hills....... 
I quench its flames in the sweetest 
blood that ever stained the sands of 
Time!"

196
The summons delivered to 
the Titan of the adjoining 
county to disarm all blacks 
that night.

197
Spies dispatched to hunt out 
whites in possession of the 
costume of the Ku Klux.

The penalty -- death.

198
Lynch happy at last 
to wreak vengeance on 
Cameron House.

199
The bitterness of ideals 
crushed.

200
The scalawag white Captain, in 
accordance with the Carpetbaggers' 
policy, makes the arrest.

201
Appealing to Elsie 
Stoneman to have her 
father intervene.

202
The faithful souls take 
a hand.

203
The master in chains 
paraded before his former 
slaves. 

204
Hoping to effect a rescue, 
the faithful souls pretend to 
join the mockers.

205
"Is I yo' equal, cap'n 
-- jes like any white man?"

206
Elsie learns her brother has 
slain a negro in the rescue of 
Dr. Cameron.

207
Awaiting her father's 
expected arrival.

208
The social lion of the 
new aristocracy.

209
The little cabin occupied by 
two Union veterans becomes 
their refuge.

210
The former enemies of North 
and South are united again in 
common defence of their Aryan 
birthright.

211
Her father failing to return, 
and ignorant of Lynch's designs 
on her, Elsie goes to the mulatto 
leader for help.

212
Lynch's proposal of 
marriage.

213
Lynch's reply to her threat 
of a horsewhipping for his 
insolence.

214
"See! My people fill the streets. 
With them I will build a Black 
Empire and you as a Queen shall 
sit by my side."

215
Lynch, drunk with wine and 
power, orders his henchmen to 
hurry preparations for a forced 
marriage.

216
Summoning the Clans.

217
"I want to marry a 
white woman."

218
The Clans being assembled 
in full strength, ride off on their 
appointed mission.

219
And meanwhile, other 
fates---

220
"The lady I want to marry 
is your daughter." 

221
The town given over to 
crazed negroes brought in 
by Lynch and Stoneman to 
overawe the whites.

222
White spies disguised.

223
The Union veterans refuse 
to allow Dr. Cameron to give
himself up.

224
While helpless whites 
look on.

225
Ku Klux sympathizers 
victims of the black 
mobs.

226
News of the danger to the 
little party in the besieged 
cabin.

227
Disarming the blacks.

228
Parade of the 
Clansman.

229
The next election.

230
The aftermath.

At the sea's edge, the
double honeymoon.

231
Dare we dream of a golden 
day when the bestial War shall 
rule no more. 

But instead - the gentle Prince
in the Hall of Brotherly Love in 
the City of Peace. 

232
"Liberty and union, 
one and inseparable, 
now and forever!"

233
        THE BIRTH OF A NATION 

              THE END


                        COPYRIGHT 1915
COPYRIGHT 1915          EPOCH PRODUCING  
DAVID W. GRIFFITH       CORPORATION AND
CORPORATION             THOMAS DIXON


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