Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
by Seth Grahame-Smith
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Allusions and Cultural References
When authors give shout outs to other great works, people, and events, it's usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
- "To Mock a Killing Bird" (Introduction.19) is a joke based on the Harper Lee book, To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Washington Irving was an early American writer, known today for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," though his early work was mostly satire, like his paper Salmagundi. (1.13)
- "Father of many" (3.41) and "father to many" (12.91) are references to Genesis 17, when God changes Abram's name to Abraham, which means "father of many."
- Poe's first book of poems (4.68) was Tamerlane and other Poems, by "A Bostonian."
- Lord Byron, poet. (6.70)
- Matthew 12:25: "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." (10.10)
- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar features a prophet telling Julius that he's going to get killed on "the Ides of March" (which is the 15th). (10.27)
- Shakespeare's Henry V: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!" (10.85)
- Shakespeare's Richard III, Act V, Scene 2: "In God's name, cheerly on, courageous friends, to reap the harvest of perpetual peace, by this one bloody trial of sharp war." (11.36)
- Our American Cousin is the comedy play famous for being the scene of Lincoln's assassination. (13.57)
- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene 4: "I am a foe to tyrants, and my country's friend." (13.57)
Lincoln's Speeches and Writing
- Lincoln's letter to Fanny McCullough on the death of her father. (1.1)
- Lincoln's speech to Congress for the Special Session, July 4, 1861. (2.1)
- The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. (3.1)
- Lincoln's letter to George Robertson. (4.1)
- Lincoln's letter to William Herndon. (5.1)
- Lincoln's letter to Lydia Bixby. (6.1)
- "The Suicide's Soliloquy," a poem possibly written by Lincoln, published in the Sangamon Journal. (6.114)
- Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Browning. (7.1)
- Lincoln's speech to the House of Representatives, June 20, 1848. (8.1)
- Mary's poem (possibly written with Abe's assistance), published in the Illinois State Journal. (8.123)
- Lincoln's proclamation of a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863. (9.1)
- Lincoln's acceptance speech for the nomination for senator, June 16, 1858. (10.1)
- Lincoln's Cooper Union speech. (10.53)
- Lincoln's Inaugural Address. (10.188)
- Lincoln's message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862. (11.1)
- Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865. (12.1)
- Lincoln's speech at Chicago, Illinois, July 10, 1858. (13.1)
- "[…] the morning of the Iowa primary, and Barack Obama was running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton" (Introduction.36) is a reference to the Democratic primaries leading into the 2008 presidential election.
- The Shawnee (1.25) were a Native American tribe.
- The War of 1812. (1.43)
- The Taborites (4.18) were a religious medieval group from Bohemia that had a few wars.
- Black Hawk (not his real name) was a leader of the Sauk and Fox tribes, who commanded during the Sauk War of 1832; they were opposed in Illinois by Governor Reynolds. (6.27)
- The Whig party. (7.63)
- Five Points was a dangerous section of New York, where gangs like the Plug Uglies, Dead Rabbits, and Bowery Boys would fight for control. (9.4)
- Dred Scott was a person—a slave who fought for his freedom—and also the name of a Supreme Court case that dealt a blow to abolitionists. (9.41)
- The Underground Railroad was not operated by vampires in the real world, but by brave people like Harriet Tubman. (10.57)
- The first Emancipation Proclamation (12.67) only freed the slaves in the Confederacy.
- Ford's Theater (13.57) is famous for being the location of Lincoln's assassination; less famously, Petersen's Boarding House (13.86) is the place he actually died.
- Reconstruction (14.29) refers to the historical period after the Civil War.
- "[…] white-hooded devils to their deaths by the light of burning crosses" (14.31) is a reference to the Ku Klux Klan.
- "[…] the second vampire uprising between 1939 and 1945" (14.33) sure sounds like a reference to World War II.
Historical People Who Know Lincoln
- Azel Waters Dorsey (1.45) was Abraham Lincoln's early teacher.
- William Herndon (2.87, 8.105) was Lincoln's last law partner.
- Samuel Haycraft, Sr. (2.94) was a real guy—a clerk on the circuit court.
- Ann Rutledge really was engaged to John MacNamar. (6.67) Whether or not she loved Abe, too, is still a matter of debate.
- Joshua Fry Speed. (7.11)
- Ebenezer Ryan (7.63) was another Whig.
- Stephen A. Douglas (7.73) was a Democrat and frequent opponent of Lincoln.
- Ward Hill Lamon. (9.14)
- William H. Seward (9.85) was Lincoln's Secretary of State; his son Frederick Seward (10.172), his daughter Fanny Seward (13.80), and his other son Augustus Seward (13.82) all show up, too.
- Grace Bedell (10.155) was a little girl who told Lincoln to grow a beard.
- Allan Pinkerton (10.167) was a detective, secret agent, and bodyguard.
- John Nicolay (11.2) and John Hay (11.103) are Lincoln's secretaries.
- In Lincoln's cabinet were Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase (11.27) and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (11.28).
- Iowa Senator James W. Grimes. (11.58)
- Horatio "Bud" Nelson Taft, Jr. and Halsey "Holly" Cook Taft (11.58) were little boys in Lincoln's Washington, D.C.
- Journalist (and friend of the Lincolns) Noah Brooks. (11.63)
- Elizabeth Keckley (11.94) was a free woman of color and dressmaker to Mary Todd.
- Alexander Gardner (12.59) was a famous photographer.
- Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax. (13.25)
- Vice President Andrew Johnson. (13.25)
- Major Henry Rathbone, and his fiancée, Clara Harris. (13.57)
- Charles Leale (13.86), the first doctor to attend Lincoln after he was shot.
- Dr. Robert King Stone (13.88), Abe's family physician.
- Bishop Matthew Simpson (14.19) gave a eulogy for Lincoln at his Springfield funeral.
- Jefferson Davis (10.71), president of the Confederacy.
- Fort Sumter (10.192) is a federal fort in South Carolina, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
- Confederate Colonel James Chestnut, Jr. (10.195) fired on Fort Sumter.
- Colonel Hunter (11.42) led at Bull Run.
- Union Major General Ambrose Burnside. (11.47)
- General Ulysses S. Grant. (11.56)
- Fort Stevens. (12.3)
- Confederate General Jubal A. Early. (12.3)
- Antietam Creek. (12.38)
- General Robert E. Lee. (12.38)
- General George B. McClellan. (12.38)
- Christoph Niederer (12.40) wrote an eyewitness account.
- Lieutenant Sebastian Duncan, Jr. (12.42) also wrote an eyewitness account.
- Confederate Generals Joseph E. Johnston, Meriwether Thompson, and Stand Watie. (13.31)
- John Wilkes Booth. (12.96)
- Mary Surratt (13.17) was the subject of a film directed by Robert Redford.
- John Lloyd. (13.18)
- Lewis Powell. (13.20)
- George Atzerodt. (13.20)
- David Herold. (13.28)
- Marie Laveau (4.46) may be the famous New Orleans voodoo priestess.
- John Walker (5.20) was a British chemist who invented the friction match.
- Joseph Nash McDowell (8.8) really was a crazy doctor.
- Elizabeth Báthory really was a Hungarian countess and Anna Darvulia was her mysterious friend. (8.78)
- H. Greeley (9.3) is probably Horace Greeley, the editor.
- Rep. Preston Brooks (South Carolina) severely beat Sen. Charles Sumner (Massachusetts) and Rep. Laurence Keitts (also SC) held everyone off with a gun. Yep, that really happened. (9.36)
- John Brown was a violent abolitionist. (9.39)
- Harry Hawk (13.69) was an actor on stage at Ford's Theater when Lincoln was shot.
- Edmund Spangler (13.71) (or "Edman") worked at Ford's Theater and was charged in the conspiracy.
- Sergeant Robinson and telegraph messenger Emerick Hansell (13.82) were stabbed by Lewis Powell when he was escaping from the Seward house.
- William Knox, a Scottish poet (13.91) wrote one of Lincoln's favorite poems.
- Richard Garrett (13.98) was the Virginian who turned in Booth.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (14.1)
- President Kennedy. (14.13)
- Roanoke (3.101) is the famous lost colony, once located in present-day North Carolina.
- Three ships came to America, including the Lyon. (3.105)
- John White (3.105) led the colony.
- White was picked by Sir Walter Raleigh (3.105) and got a ride back to England with Sir Francis Drake. (3.105)
- Virginia Dare (3.122) was the first English person born in America.
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