Study Guide

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Part 2, Chapter 6

By Seth Grahame-Smith

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Part 2, Chapter 6


  • This chapter begins with a quote about grief and loss, so let's get ready for some unhappy stuff.
  • After Denton's store fails (because, really, New Salem doesn't need a new store), Abe stays around New Salem, doing whatever jobs are available, hunting vampires with Jack, and thinking briefly about why Henry is using him as an assassin. You know, the usual stuff people handle in their twenties.
  • Abe gets to be a local favorite with the people (not with the vampires), so he decides to run for office.
  • But before he can lose fair and square (and he almost expects to lose since he doesn't have any powerful friends or supporters), there's a war with the Sauk natives, led by a guy named Black Hawk.
  • Abe volunteers to fight the Sauk, and the militia elects him as captain, so, that's nice.
  • He also meets a new friend, John Todd Stuart, who will be important later, the narrator tells us.
  • But this particular militia doesn't get to do any fighting; and after the war is over, Abe only has a little time to schmooze before the election. He definitely doesn't kiss as many babies as he should.
  • Lo and behold, Abe loses the election, but learns a little about how to win the next one. The trick is to kiss babies and shake hands, not shake babies and kiss hands.
  • To feel better about himself, Lincoln does what we all do—a little retail therapy. Except, instead of going shopping, Lincoln opens a store with William F. Berry. 
  • Of course, this store also fails (and it takes Abe seventeen years to pay off the debt), but then he's got a new election to deal with, so he's not too broken up about it.
  • This time, Lincoln goes around and meets as many people as he can before the election. 
  • This new strategy works, and in 1834, he wins election to the Illinois State Legislature at Vandalia. (A helpful footnote adds that the capital was moved to Springfield in 1839, where it remained until it was moved to Space Springfield in 2130.)
  • Oh! And Abe falls in love with Ann Rutledge, who lives in Decatur. Which means—you know it—time for a historical look at Ann Mayes Rutledge.
  • Ann is a big reader, like Abe, and they meet because they both borrow books from Mentor Graham, the schoolteacher. That's how they fall in love—over books.
  • All is going pretty well, except Ann is already engaged to one John MacNamar, who left three years ago to go to New York.
  • Abe writes a letter to MacNamar, asking him to be a gentleman and release Ann from her engagement promise. Gutsy, no?
  • Instead, MacNamar comes back and poisons Ann, because he's a vampire, and also kind of a jerk.
  • Ann dies in 1835, which crushes Abe. 
  • He's pretty close to suicide, but his friends take most of his weapons away and Abe remembers his mother's dying word to him: "Live." Good tip.
  • Then we get a poem called "The Suicide's Soliloquy" which Abe may have written and which was published in the Sangamon Journal in 1838. (Check the Shout-Outs.)
  • Henry Sturges comes to visit suicidal Abe and tries to make him feel better using the time-honored tactic of saying "I had it much worse, bro."
  • That doesn't work (does it ever?), so Henry tells Abe that old vampires can make newly dead people into vampires. Henry could bring Ann back, if Abe wants, except she'll be a vampire.
  • That also doesn't work. Even though Abe likes Henry, he still thinks vampirism is wrong.
  • Henry offers one last present to make Abe happy: they kill John MacNamar together.
  • Finally, Henry tells Abe that Abe has a purpose in life: Lincoln was born to fight tyranny.
  • Wait, we thought his life's purpose was killing vampires? Now he has to fight tyranny, too? You betcha.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Part 2, Chapter 6 Study Group

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