1913 Lincoln film found in NH barn cleanup

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A contractor cleaning out an old New Hampshire barn he was about to demolish has found the only known copy of a 1913 silent film about Abraham Lincoln.

Francis Ford stars in “When Lincoln Paid.” He’s the brother of John Ford, director of “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “The Quiet Man.”

Peter Massie gave the nitrate reels to Keene State College, which determined that the film didn’t exist in film archives. It was one of eight silent films starring Francis Ford as Lincoln; there are no known surviving copies of the others.

A Colorado lab has since restored the film about the mother of a dead Union solider requesting that Lincoln pardon a Confederate soldier whom she had initially turned in. The college is holding an April 20 screening.

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