Study Guide

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Part 3, Chapter 10

By Seth Grahame-Smith

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Part 3, Chapter 10

A House Divided

  • Part 3, called "President," begins with a mysterious figure being shepherded by lots of armed men and bodyguards. 
  • But pretty soon we learn that this is Abe Lincoln, who has just been elected president. Well that was quick. 
  • But of course, we rewind, to see how he got there.
  • After meeting the Union in NYC, Abe runs for senator against Stephen A. Douglas in 1857. 
  • That means, Abe and Stephen spend a lot of time on their favorite hobby, debating. These 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates are a pretty big deal. 
  • Douglas gives the classic racist speech that sets the tone for the rest of the anti-Lincoln crowd. 
  • And Lincoln gives the classic response: "well, I don't love black people, but no one should be a slave." Yeah, it's pretty disappointing, but even Lincoln didn't really believe in racial equality in 1858.
  • Abe doesn't mention vampires, but he totally wishes he could. Let's be honest—that would make a pretty awesome attack ad. 
  • Abe loses the election (because US Senators are elected by the state's legislature), but he becomes famous as a great thinker and speaker.
  • Then we get a theatrical, dreamy interlude: Abe loves the theater, so he goes to see Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. One actor messes up the "Ides of March" line and says "April"; and then another actor assassinates Lincoln while shouting "Sic semper tyrann—" (42). That's when Abe wakes up.
  • Well that was alarming.
  • Back in the real world (boo), Henry tells Abe they want him to be president, so Abe starts making speeches and collecting SuperPAC money. (Okay, not that last part.) And he gets nominated as the Republican candidate.
  • Meanwhile, the Union vampires are working to sabotage the Democrats (who split into two parties), and are also operating the Underground Railroad, getting slaves out of the South. This raises the question: is there anything that vampires didn't do in American history?
  • Abe gets three vampires as an extra bodyguard—they're jokingly called the "unholy trinity," though it's not clear that they like that joke. 
  • But Abe also gets one last assassination assignment: he's supposed to kill Jefferson Davis. He doesn't want to, but Henry tells Abe that he's seen Abe's future and it's his destiny to destroy Davis. Good to know.
  • So Abe, Speed, and Lamon (whom Abe finally tells about vampires) go to Bolivar, Mississippi.
  • But the Southern plantation where ol' Jeff is supposed to be turns out to be a trap. They're surrounded by vampires and Jefferson Davis; and the house is on fire. Not good.
  • Before the Southern vampires kill Abe, he and Davis talk about how vampires are the natural masters of people (that's Davis's position) and how they may turn on their white friends (that's Abe's argument for why Davis is an idiot).
  • And just before Abe and friends get killed, Henry swoops in with a rescue party. Davis escapes, but at least Abe survives with just a cut on his chin.
  • Later, back in Illinois, Lincoln gets elected president. Hope we didn't spoil that surprise for anyone. 
  • Did the Union help cheat the election? Abe says yes, but the narrator says no. But then Henry sent a message to congratulate Abe before the votes were counted, which is a bit hinky. 
  • Lincoln goes to Washington with lots of bodyguards, and here we are, back at the opening of the chapter. 
  • Oh, and also: the South secedes.
  • By Inauguration Day, seven states have already seceded and President Buchanan just sits on his rump, which is one reason why most historians rate him as one of the Worst Presidents Ever.
  • The South forms a confederacy and elects Jefferson Davis as president.
  • Then, on March 4, 1861, Lincoln is sworn in as the 16th president. And everyone lives happily ever after. No, that doesn't sound right.
  • What actually happens is that Confederate forces fire on the federal Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. 
  • And as historians note, the Civil War was on, like Donkey Kong.

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