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Spielberg’s “Lincoln” Movie Has Special Local Meaning

(Boalsburg, PA) - Steven Spielberg’s new film “Lincoln” will have special meaning to a local man whose ancestor will be portrayed in the blockbuster film opening locally on Friday.

Francis Preston Blair, portrayed in the film by actor Hal Holbrook, founded the new Republican Party and was an important advisor to Lincoln during the negotiations to end slavery.

Spielberg’s “Lincoln” Movie Has Special Local Meaning

Blair’s local descendant is Christopher Gist Lee, CEO of Boal Mansion Museum in Boalsburg. The Museum displays oil portraits of Blair and his wife Eliza Gist in the dining room. The same portraits are hung in the Blair House in Washington DC, guest house for heads of state visiting the U.S. president. Lee's grandfather was born in the Blair House.

The Boal Mansion Museum collection includes the original signatures of four US Presidents associated with the Boal family, the Admiral’s Desk of Christopher Columbus, a lock of hair of Napoleon and two pieces of the True Cross of Jesus. The Wall Street Journal published an article about the Museum on October 6 with a photograph of the two pieces of the True Cross.

Group and school tours of the Museum can be arranged by contacting the Museum at 814-466-6210 or Details are at the Museum web site, Lee also provides a free slide show about the Museum’s far-reaching national and international history off-site to local schools and community groups.

Photo caption: State College Borough Council member Tom Daubert (left) and Boal Mansion Museum volunteers Linda and John Wainright stand in the dining room of the Boal Mansion Museum before Portraits of Francis Preston Blair and his wife Eliza Gist. Frank Blair is portrayed by actor Hal Holbrook in Spielberg’s new blockbuster film “Lincoln” opening locally on Friday.

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