Abraham Lincoln is the 16th President of the United States of America and ,in secret, a legendary vampire hunter. This identity was kept a secret for all these years until Henry Sturges gives struggling author Seth Grahame-Smith a journal written by Lincoln himself, and Smith adapted the journal into a best-selling book.
Abraham was born to farmers Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln in a log cabin with a cold dirt floor and a leaking roof. His father, Thomas, was without ambition and unable to keep a land for long, and they ended up constantly moving residences and building houses using makeshift logs. Abraham was a playful and gifted child, and he developed his strength by chopping wood with an axe since he refused to kill innocent creatures and hunt to feed his family. His main source of happiness was credited to his mother, who would often read for him from her bible. One day, however, after his father was visited by a one-armed man he owed money, Abraham's mother fell ill. She passed away soon later, and Abraham lost his light and soulmate. A year later, his father re-married, and surprisingly, their new step-mother proved kind and generous, and Abraham's new siblings gave him a much brighter life. Nevertheless, his father was still depressed after the loss of his first wife, and one day he revealed that their grandfather was not killed by Natives as he had told him countless of times before, but a vampire. Abraham angrily swore revenge upon all vampires in the country, deducing that the one armed man was the vampire who poisoned his beloved mother.
He began training by practising swinging his axe, by creating stakes, collecting holy water and garlic, pouring over as many books as he could on the occult. At the age of 12, the one armed man arrived to collect payment from Thomas, and Abraham took his first kill. Despite his father's warnings that more would come, he was wrong, as no more came for retribution. This allowed Abraham to continue his training and his obsession, even going as far as to have a hunter's cloak commissioned, tailored for his hunting his preferred prey.
When he was sixteen, news reached Abraham about children missing and then their bodies being found later in an unnaturally decomposed state. Recognising the signs, and deducing that there was likely a vampire travelling south with the stream by boat, Abraham lied to his father that he had found work on a flatboat bound for New Orleans, and that he would return with $20 pay in six weeks’ time. It was the only way to convince his father to allow such a long absence. Horrified and vindicated, he found that his suspicions were correct, and Abraham soon found his opportunity to attack the vampire who had been abducting and feeding on children. His second kill proved far more difficult than the first, and he was easily overpowered by the vampire, who proceeded to drown him in the river. Before she could finish the job, however, Abraham was rescued by what he at the time thought was 'the hand of God', and the last thing he saw before passing out, was the vampire calling someone a traitor, before being beheaded.
Abraham woke up in a darkened estate with elaborate furnishings to find himself tied to a bed, and a man by his side reading poetry for him, calling himself Henry Sturges. Henry soon allowed Abraham to understand he was a vampire, and at first Abraham was as spiteful, distrustful and enraged as one might expect of him. For three days Abraham refused to eat, sleep or listen as Henry read to him from his books, but in the end his pride caved and he finally ate, thus establishing the foundation of a relationship which would last a lifetime - and beyond. A 28 days passed before Abraham was well enough to walk on his own, and by then they had talked at length about everything that Henry knew about vampires, even when the facts were disappointingly few. Most of what Abraham had taught himself about vampires proved false, others far more important than first estimated. Henry also told Abraham his own story, and as much as he knew about how a vampire comes to be.
After this, Henry took it upon himself to train Abraham, and he soon became a much stronger hunter. Eventually Abraham had to return home, and when he dreaded the thrashing he was in for when he came home without money, Henry gifted him $25 which was more than Abraham had promised his father, and it was then that Abraham asked Henry why he had come to his rescue by the river. Henry's response was that there is no honour in taking sleeping children from their beds, or feasting upon the innocent. They went their separate ways.
Barely a month passed before Abraham received the first letter from Henry, which barely held any details but mentioned a man in a nearby town, noting that this man was one who deserved a timely end. Abraham sought the vampire out, and successfully slaughtered him with a single swing of his axe. Over the next three years, letters would come every few months apart, and each time, Abraham would leave home to end yet another devil.
At one point Abraham was offered work for another nearby farmer who needed someone to accompany his own son, build a flatboat and take it down South to sell his goods. Abraham would probably have taken the offer even if he wasn't promised a handsome pay, so he built a fine vessel to take him and the other man of his age down to New Orleans. On the way they were nearly robbed by a band of black slaves in the middle of the night, and it was only due to Abraham's well trained eyes that he spotted the reason why the slaves were running, which was their vampire owner. Making it to New Orleans, Abraham began spotting vampires in every direction, living richly amongst humans with little to no fear of being discovered. It was also here that Abraham met a strange man by the name of Edgar Poe, another human with a fascination with vampires. Though, unlike Abraham, he sought to study them, not to destroy them.
During his time spent in New Orleans Abraham witnessed a slave auction. While there wasn't anything odd about this event, the buyers caught his attention. By looks, one of them was clearly a vampire, and he seemed to be buying cheap slaves of age or with injuries - and many of them. Abraham decided to stalk the vampire and his new slaves to their farm, where he then saw nine of them being slaughtered by feeding vampires. Abraham was horrified by the sight, and he realised that the vampires were using slaves as their primary food source in America. Hurrying home, Abraham bought his second journal seeing as his last one had just been filled cover to cover, and in it he wrote that 'so long as this country is cursed with slavery, so too will it be cursed with vampires'.
Upon coming home, Abraham attempted to write to Henry, but with no reply he went to where they last saw one another at Henry's home, only to find it abandoned. He left a note in case Henry ever returned, but saw no more of him. Later Abraham and two other young men were hired by an acquaintance named Offutt to make a new flatboat and a similar journey down South. The journey itself would take about three months, and along the way Abraham continued to fill in his new journal, though New Orleans didn't hold the same wonder as it did the first time he saw the city, and he was quick to head on home. Meanwhile Offutt saw potential in new settlements and how much the South was booming with new towns being formed and expanding, so as he was very impressed with the intelligent and hardworking Abraham, he offered him a job in New Salem where he intended to build and run a general store. Abraham agreed and soon he spent the days working, his evenings reading and studying and his nights prowling for vampires to stalk and destroy.
While he couldn't find anything to hunt, trouble found him nonetheless in the form of a gang of young boys with a penchant for fights. They'd heard about the smart, tall new boy in town and even when Abraham kept his head low, two months after arriving they picked an unfair fight with him. Little did they know of his many talents and he bested them, only to invite the gang leader Jack Armstrong for a drink the night after. It was only then, during their late night talk, that he learned of something keeping the inhabitants of New Salem afraid to walk alone at night. In return, Abraham told him about the existence of vampires.
Abraham finally received a letter from Henry, apologising for his absence and giving him yet another name to another target. This time, he brought with him his new friend Jack as they went to track down and kill the vampire, and while they did mange to do so it was not without the vampire mentioning Henry, saying that he was just as despicable as the rest of them, and Abraham was a fool do to his bidding. Jack wanted to learn all there was to know about hunting vampires after that night.
Abraham later returned to New Salem, where the general store where he worked was slowly losing business and the town wasn't growing nearly as fast as first expected. The reason was the river, riddled with debris, branches and awkward bends which kept the steam boats from reaching far enough. Abraham thought to himself that the only way to fix this was possible, but only done with a lot of funding. The only way he could get his hands on such an amount of money, was through getting involved with politics. It was then that he began his new career as well as his law studies, all while hunting with his friend Jack, going where Henry's letters took them. When a war against a tribe of Natives broke out, Abraham enlisted and became an appointed captain, though their group of volunteers never saw the war themselves. Being absent in war meant that Abraham didn't win the election, but all those he knew had all voted for him, which was a silver lining. He just hadn't shaken enough hands.
It was then that the young politician met a girl by the name of Anne Rutledge, falling deeply in love to the point of deciding to give up hunting for the sake of the woman he admired. He would never write such flowery passages in his journal for anyone else - not his future wife or his children - as he did for her. He soon wished to ask her father for her hand in marriage, though even though Anne was just as taken with Abraham as he was with her, she was in fact engaged with John MacNamar, who had proposed when she was only 18, and then promptly left her to live in New York, rarely if ever sending letters back to his wife to be. Abraham did what he could and sent him a letter, asking him to free her. Weeks later, Abraham visited Anne, finding her sick with a fever, which gradually got worse and threw her into fits of pain and delusion. To a skilled hunter such as him, it was immediately clear that Anne had become the victim of a vampire just like his mother, and upon learning that she had just met MacNamar who had come back to see her after receiving the letter, he understood what had transpired.
Henry himself sought Abraham out in person when news reached him. He was inconsolable upon her death, depressed and suicidal to a point where his friends had taken from him every weapon and knife he owned in fear he would end himself. Henry embraced him as Abraham wept, and he was doubly surprised - both that a vampire could show such warmth, and by the sensation of his cold skin. Henry then suggested the unthinkable, to bring her back to life as a vampire, which at first was a sliver of hope the desperate Abraham clung to, only to realise that was not the life he wanted for her. God's finest creation perverted and corrupted. No, he couldn't let that happen. She was buried in a coffin he insisted on making himself, and upon going home after the funeral, he found Henry at his doorstep. He took him to a clearing in the woods where a naked, gagged, blistering, tortured MacNamar was tied to a post. Abraham was given a torch to light the pile of wood at MacNamar's feet, and they both watched him burn and scream helplessly while Henry used water to keep the flames from climbing higher than his waist. Finally Abraham begged him to end the torture, and the vampire was allowed to die.
Abraham felt a need to question why Henry sought to kill his own kind, spurred what he had heard from other vampires as well as his own doubts. Henry told him that from the very first moment their paths had crossed, he had seen Abraham's purpose in life - to fight tyranny. From the moment he was born, it had been clear that Abraham was destined for great things, for seeing a man's purpose clear as day was Henry's great gift. It was destiny that saw to that the first vampire Henry had gone out to kill in over 100 years was the one who brought him to Abraham. Abraham would fight tyranny, and Henry's purpose was to make sure he'd win.
Penniless from dept and failed businesses, despite being a local celebrity in New Salem, Abraham was encouraged to study law by his war friend John Stuart. Seeing this as an opportunity and having nothing to hold him back, they both moved to Springfield to begin their practice. It was here that Abraham first met his life long friend Joshua Fry Speed, in whose general store he found both work and lodgings. While he did continue hunting for vampires, it became second priority over the rest of his life, as Abraham didn't much care for it any more, but he saw it as a way to honour his mother and Anne. He soon went form a penniless nobody, to a popular and gifted politician and lawyer, popular amongst his peers as well as those of opposing beliefs. It was at a party amongst these high profile people, that Abraham then met none other than Mary Todd, the cousin of John Stuart himself.
The two fell in love immediately, and soon after getting engaged, Henry sent Abraham a letter to congratulate him. However, the letter also warned Abraham since Mary's father Robert Smith Todd was a friend of the sort that Abraham had been slaying for years. One who served as a personal bank to Henry's kind, one who supported the practice of buying slaves for slaughter. Heartbroken, Abraham knew that he would never be able to live with an inlaw of this sort, and he called off the engagement, which in turn crushed Mary's heart. Abraham spiralled into depression once again, and confided in his friend Speed.
Instead of having his story of vampires met with disbelief and ridicule, Speed believed him immediately, for it was not his first time hearing about these creatures. In fact, his father, who once owned a grand plantation, had had dealings with them, and would sell them slaves not unlike Mary Todd's father. At this time, Speed was moving back to his family home, and Abraham went along with him for a much needed vacation. Speed told him more about his father and how he did not approve of his actions and dealings, so Abraham proposed to invite his father's associates to the plantation - vampires the lot of them - and they killed each and every one of them. Speed was injured as they slaughtered the last one, but his conscience was a little lighter.
With his own heart lightened and his view on dealing with similar people changed, Abraham then sought Mary and begged for her forgiveness, and she was yet again charmed by his odd and self deprecating humour, and took him back. Soon after they were married, and only 10 months later, she gave birth to their first son. Given his hardships and having lost so many, it was only natural that Abraham's new bliss soon became a source of worry, and he feared for his family's lives. After twenty years of battling vampires, the time had come to hang up his long coat for good. And after eight years in the State Legislature, his moment to be recognised had come as well, and he was nominated as the Whig candidate for the United States Congress. His new life was starting to unfold.
Washington DC turned out to be a great disappointment for Abraham. 'A few palaces on a prairie' as he called it. The capital wouldn't be finished until after his lifetime, after all. Meanwhile, as his blessed family grew and Abraham doted upon his children - making up for what he never had - he started to realise how deeply integrated vampires were in society and politics. Wherever he turned, in the house of power and amongst his peers, he heard talk of them openly, as if the secret he'd carried from his young age, was one that everyone here knew about. The Southerners and their black-eyed friends. It seemed that every politician and man of importance from the South were in dealings with them. Meanwhile Henry kept sending letters to Abraham begging him to continue hunting, but Abraham refused.
Abraham also reunited with his old friend Poe, who told him a story about Elizabeth Báthory in Europe, and how her actions were one of the reasons why vampires grew in population there, and were thus hunted. This is why they came to America, due to the freedom, lawlessness and sheer size, not to mention the slave trade, making it the perfect place to settle and take food without much resistance considering the country's age. Poe warned his friend to keep the vampires in check lest they enslave all of America, though unfortunately that would also be the last time they spoke to one another, as Poe was found no more than 8 months later, delusional and with a fever, before dying soon after.
He decided against running for a second term, tired of the capital and how he was neglecting his family as a result. Returning to Springfield, he dove into his law practice and even took an apprentice. Here he could have time with his family and be happy. That is, until he lost his angel boy - most likely to Tuberculosis. Though this was not the first time Abraham and Mary had buried someone close to them, and it was not the last time they would bury one of their children, nothing would be as painful as burying this son, and Mary would never be the same again. Speed and Armstrong attended the funeral, as did Henry, who once again let Abraham know that there was an alternative, though yet again even as the temptation was maddening, Abraham refused. He did not want to sentence his dear boy to an eternal life in a child's body, and further, to Hell.
Abraham continued his business and family life. Simplicity was his new calling, and they were happy. They'd continue to expand by having several more children, much to their joy. Meanwhile Abraham observed the building tension between the North and South regarding slavery and sassing laws. Often there would be riots near and far, with witnesses swearing they'd seen men leap from rooftop to rooftop or being flung into brick buildings, only to rise without a scratch. Vampires were beginning to grow impatient, and bold. While Abraham didn't want to get involved with politics again, his conscience didn't allow him to rest idle, and he offered what he could - his words and his pen - to argue against slavery. His name became prominent in the circles opposing slavery, and though it failed to sway Douglas or his allies in Congress, the speech would nonetheless prove a turning point in Abe’s political life. His anger over the slavery issue - and by extension, the vampire issue - had nudged him back into the political area.
Nearing the age of fifty, Abraham was summoned by a surprise letter from Henry, which begged him to come to New York. In order to keep his family from suspecting anything, he took them with him on a surprise vacation. New York amazed the Lincoln family, even when they had arrived only a few weeks after the worst out of many riots there, in the midst of a sweltering heat. Following further instructions, Abraham sought Henry in the cover of night, only to be knocked out cold by three men, and brought to a secret location where he finally saw his old friend again.
Henry explained that every letter he had been given over the years, every kill he had carried out, was on the behalf of the Union of which Henry was part of. The Union's mission was to fight the vampires who wished to enslave all humans, and the victory of the South and their slave trade would only be the first stepping stone towards it. In other words, they could not let the South win. This is where Abraham, as well as none other but Candidate Senator William Seward came into the picture, and he decided that he would in fact fight for their cause, which not only brought him into politics once more, but lead him towards the path of becoming President Elect. It was a good thing, too, that Abraham had Henry and his small army of undead at his side, for soon after he announced his ambition to the country, he survived his first assassination attempt, with their help.
Abraham began by running for the Senate against Stephen A. Douglas, who turned out to be an ally of Southern vampires. Although Abraham lost his debates towards Douglas, he gained a lot of respect and eventually managed to be elected as the Republican representative, as his main competition and Republican favourite Seward had taken an abrupt trip to Europe for 6 months, something the Union had arranged. Abraham's election caused the South to announce secession from the country and the war began. Seeing as the Confederates had vampires on their side, fighting them was a difficult task even with vampire hunters on Abraham's side. In an effort to boast their numbers, Abraham decided to free the slaves under the South's control by announcing the Emancipation Proclamation, the slaves soon fighting alongside them against their former vampire masters.
A final letter from Henry then asked Abraham to go on a final hunt. For the first time his target was human, but he was guarded by two vampires, and allied with them. Abraham knew that since it had been 15 years since his last hunt, he needed allies at his side, so he asked Speed to join him, as well as his law partner Ward Hill Lamon, who at first refused to believe vampires did in fact exist. His target was Jefferson Davis; a highly accomplished politician of the South. However, the information Henry and the Union had been given was from a traitorous spy, and the cabin where Abraham and his two friends travelled, was an ambush. They were nearly burned alive by at least 20 men and vampires, and while preparing to die, the Union came to their rescue. Abraham suffered a scratch across his face and deafness of his left ear because of a gunshot close to it, but no one died. This was the final straw for the old hunter, and Abraham decided to retire from hunting all together.
Abraham began to grow a beard in order to conceal his new scar. It’s widely believed that he got the idea from eleven-year-old Grace Bedell. While it’s true that Bedell wrote the suggestion, he’d already begun to grow it by the time her famous letter arrived. His wife Mary thought he looked more distinguished, and approved of it. In the meantime, the results of the election started ticking in across the telegraph lines, and Abraham could not say he was surprised he had in fact been elected the President of America, since he expected the Union to have influenced the results, though they had not, and he had earned his victory all on his own.
The Civil War
The new President and his family's journey towards the capital was a dangerous one. It took the combined forces of humans and the Union and their spies, to keep them from being assassinated, and even during all of Abraham's speeches, men and devils were taken away by his body guards. On March 4th, 1861, Abraham Lincoln - exceptional boy of Sinking Springs Farm, apple of his departed mother’s eye, survivor of the trials of Job, and one of the nation’s most accomplished vampire hunters - was sworn in as the sixteenth president of the United States.
All the while, the South announced the Confederate States of America, with none other than Jefferson Davis as their president, as he had escaped the battle during the ambush. After the events of Fort Sumter happened, and the first shot of the Civil War had been loosened. Abraham then got a surprising visit from an old familiar. Stephen A. Douglas, the very same man who he had fought for Mary's love as well as in politics, loathed the idea of disunion, and had decided to inform Abraham of the true dangers of the South and what they were up against. To his surprise, the President knew exactly what he was talking about, for while Abraham had always known of Douglas' involvement with vampires, he had never learned that Abraham knew about their existence, and much less that he himself was an accomplished vampire hunter.
The time had come for the President to tell his cabinet about the true nature of the South, and why the Confederate States were more of a threat than they had ever realised.
Abraham attempted to lead happy life with his wife and children from that point on, assigning guards to accompany them at all times to make sure no harm would come to them. Nevertheless, by arranging a distraction, a vampire managed to get to Willie who was the apple of Abraham's eye, and he gave him vampire blood. Willie's health remained normal until 24 hours later, when he started to develop a fever, and the other telltale signs that followed. This time, Mary's already deteriorating health was so fragile that she couldn't bear to watch her son die, so it was up to Abraham to cradle him until he finally died. Once again, he had to bury his own child. Once again did Henry come to offer his condolences, to a President who none other were allowed to meet with, and once again, did Henry offer an alternative, at which Abraham became enraged. Abraham who had done his best to bottle his anger, his anguish and despair, finally unloaded them upon Henry, until he in a fit of fury took his axe from the mantle and swung it at Henry, barely missing him. In retaliation, Henry defended himself until he had his fangs piercing the skin of Abraham's neck, but upon hearing Abraham beg to die, he released him.
The President promised that he would see the war to its end, but he never wanted to see another vampire for the rest of his life. Henry bowed, and disappeared, and so did the rest of the vampires currently protecting the Lincoln family. It was the last time Abraham saw Henry for the rest of his life.
The War is Won
Even though Abraham did not want to see another vampire, he still agreed to work with the Union from afar. Their intelligence was invaluable to the North, especially as several battles continued and both sides grew ever more desperate. In the middle of this, Abraham decided that he would free all slaves so that they as well could fight the enemy and join their ranks, effectively 'starving the devils out'. In addition, Abraham despite the war, the losses, and deep divides, was re-elected and won by a landslide against his opponent. Eventually, and at long last the North won over the South, and as if that wasn't enough, Henry did send a letter informing him that the vampires of America were migrating to Europe, and even the Orient. Finally his war against vampires had come to an end. Happy for the first time in years, Abraham decided to celebrate the victory by inviting several politicians to see a play with him and Mary.
However, the celebration was tragically interrupted when the megalomaniac vampire actor John Wilkes Booth initiated his plan to kill Abraham in order to inspire the vampires to come back and reign again. Seizing an opportunity while Abraham remained unguarded, Booth crept up from behind and at about 10:15 pm, aimed a firearm at the back of Abraham's head and fired at point-blank range, mortally wounding the President. As Booth escaped, an army surgeon immediately assisted the President and found that he was barely breathing. The dying Abraham was taken across the street to a nearby house where nine hours later, Abraham died. Booth's actions were not welcomed by the vampires as the news reached them, eventually going as far as to sell him out. The man who eventually came to end Booth's life, was Henry Sturges.
Abraham was to be buried at his birthplace, and his son Willy was exhumed to be placed alongside his father. Abraham's funeral train moved across the country as Henry stood guard. After his burial, Eventually, in order to prevent grave-robbers from exhuming the body, Abraham's tomb was covered with cement. It was a good thing that no one before then had managed to get far enough to open the casket, for what they would've found there, would horrify them, as Henry had made his choice and dug his friend of forty years up to do exactly what which he had offered to him many times before. "Some men are just too interesting to die".
Too Interesting To Die
In 1963, Henry and Abraham stood in Washington at the monument which unnerved him to no end, to listen intently, proudly, as a young black preacher looked out on more than 250,000 faces while delivering his speech. They’d been there during Reconstruction, driving out the vampires who continued to terrorise emancipated slaves. They’d been there in Mississippi, dragging white-hooded devils to their deaths by the light of burning crosses. And they’d been there in Europe, where millions gave their lives defeating the second vampire uprising between 1939 and 1945. But there was work still to be done.
Abraham Lincoln was remarkably tall, and was taller than his father at the age of 12. His height can be credited to his grandfather, whose strength was also inherited by his grandson. Abe was strong enough to cut off a vampire's head in a single swing. He also often used stakes, small knives, etc.
- Lincoln discovered the truth about vampires when his father drunkenly retold the death of his father with rather great detail.
- Lincoln was agile, and merely slowed down a little at the age of 50.
- During one of his hunts, Lincoln mistaken a pale adulterer for a vampire, as the man was merely sleeping with several prostitutes instead of drinking the blood of several women as Abe believed.
- Lincoln was portrayed by actor Benjamin Walker in the film adapting his diary.