A family traveling through New Salem in their covered wagon need groceries from Abe Lincoln’s store and the only thing of value they have that he’ll take in exchange is a law book. He talks about his ambitions with a young woman. She dies. He moves to nearby Springfield, the new state capital, and opens a law office with a friend. He meets a young woman visiting from Kentucky, who wasn’t born in a log cabin, Mary Todd. Then when a man is killed at a 4th of July picnic he stops a lynching by telling the angry mob he really needs these clients for his first real case.