Church and Country (1912)
The story concerns itself with the change of heart of a young preacher, whose love of liberty is nonetheless strong because he feels that the cloth he wears precludes his active participation in the war or even his preaching violence to his congregation. Even the girl he loves turns her back upon him because he refuses to take the offered sword and fight for his country's freedom. And then the girl chances upon a plot for the capture of General Washington by the British forces, when he shall leave Valley Forge practically unaccompanied, for a short journey into York. Slipping out of her father's tavern she looks about for a horse so that she may warn Washington. The young minister happens by and, of course, feels that it is a man's work, and, remounting his horse, dashes off across the country for the long ride to Valley Forge. He barely escapes death at the hands of a British sentry whom he passes on the road and loses his way, but finally arrives at Valley Forge to find that Washington had already started. Frantically he remounts his horse, although completely exhausted, and dashes off after the leader of the American army. And then we see a squad of British soldiers waiting in ambush for Washington's arrival. And, just before Washington reaches them the young minister catches up with him in time to turn the General about and prevent his capture. At Valley Forge that night he sees Washington, apparently warming his hands over a campfire, but really offering up a prayer for the cause of the Colonies, and the young minister's eyes are opened. He sees that it is a righteous cause that Washington is both fighting and praying for. He returns to his congregation and in a splendidly dramatic scene urges them to take up arms and fight for freedom, closing his discourse by tearing open his ministerial robes and disclosing the full uniform of a Continental soldier. He calls for recruits, who are immediately forthcoming. Of course, the girl forgives him for any delay now that he has become a hero.- Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
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