The first act of Abe Lincoln in Illinois is comprised of the play’s first three scenes. They take place in the vicinity of New Salem, Illinois, in the 1830s.
Scene 1 is set in the cabin of Mentor Graham, who is tutoring young Abraham Lincoln in the use of the English language. Lincoln, who would have been in his early twenties, discusses the financial troubles he has had and his desire to move out to the open territory out West to escape his failures. Mentor Graham tells him to ‘‘just bear in mind that there are always two professions open to...
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