Study Guide

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Allusions

By Seth Grahame-Smith

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  • "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


  • "[…] 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

Civil War

Assassination Conspiracy

Historical People


  • 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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