Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
How we cite our quotes:
The theater of it all! Men and women! Children and infants presented to this surly mob—this collection of so-called gentlemen! I saw a Negro girl of three or four clinging to her mother, confused as to why she was dressed in such clothes; why she had been scrubbed the night before; made to stand on this platform while men shouted numbers and waved pieces of paper in the air. (4.95)
Here's a helpful hint: if you ever want to change things, just say "what about the children?" Okay, so that might not have worked in the 90s when people were worried about rap lyrics, but in the 1850s, "what about the children?" was a very powerful part of the abolitionist argument. Check out Uncle Tom's Cabin—all 800 pages of it—for a glimpse of this.
So long as this country is cursed with slavery, so too will it be cursed with vampires. (4.114)
Now there's an epiphany. Abe realizes this after his first trip to New Orleans, and the notion only gains strength during his second trip to New Orleans, when he notes that vampires are especially comfortable in the South since they can feed on slave blood without worrying about being discovered or punished (5.39). This is super convenient for Abe, since the two fights of his life (against vampires and against slavery) turn out to be the same fight. But from a writer's perspective, vampirism makes a nice symbol for slavery, too, because both slave owners and vampires survive on the blood of others.
[There is] in view from the windows of the Capitol a sort of livery stable, where droves of Negroes are collected, temporarily kept, and finally taken to Southern markets, precisely like droves of horses. Men—chained together and sold! Here, in the shadow of an institution founded on the promise that "All men are created equal"! (8.44)
Abe doesn't hate slavery just because kids get enslaved or all the Southern money is used to buy slaves instead of buying Lincoln-commemorative coins. He hates it because it seems super hypocritical for a country that says it's based on equality to really be based on inequality. Also, vampires.