Slavery represents an awful part of our history, as a world of many cultures.

Nearly all cultures in antiquity practiced slavery, and even after the advent of modern currency and economics, slavery continued to be a solution sought by unsavory types as it represented older, more shallow roots of social rule.

All the benefits of slavery came at an unaccountable cost of the suffering of people. From the far east Asian kingdoms to the new world territories, it played a part in bringing society forward at the price of the lives of others. 

There is no shortage of horror stories from slavery, and the more modern we get, the fewer excuses there are to counteract people’s ignorance.

Even after the American Civil War, seen as the end of formal slavery in the world’s history, it took tremendous effort to recover many people from the traumas of slavery.

Some of those traumas were far worse than others. Some who owned slaves didn’t use them for labor.

People like Madame LaLaurie used them as entertainment. And her idea of an “entertaining time” was straight out of a horror story.


10 /10 The Girl

The Madame was born as Marie Delphine Macarty in New Orleans in 1787. It was known as Spanish Louisiana before the famous Louisiana Purchase changed it and much of North America into the territories we more commonly associate with.

Her parents came over to the Americas during the French colonial period and became prominent community members. Some of her family members even became seated political figures over her life, and she shared their benefits.

9 /10 Slave Problems

Slavery was widespread at that time, where people from Africa and the nearby Caribbean islands were bought or stolen and forced into labor. However, at the tail end of the 1700s, that was changing.

Before she was born, her uncle died when his slaves revolted and overthrew him, an incident which later inspired more colonial slaves to rise against their masters, culminating in the famous Haitian Revolution, where the slaves gained independence and turned the land into their own.

The result was that slave owners fearful of revolution became far, far more aggressive with their punishments.

Wikimedia Commons

8 /10 First Marriage

Delphine was married off young, at 13, a Spanish royal officer in New Orleans. Four years later, the Louisiana Purchase changed the territory from Spanish to French officially, but Orleans was still in dispute.

Her husband died in Havana after leaving to reach Madrid, and just a few days later, at 17, Delphine had her first child and returned to New Orleans with her daughter Borgia.


7 /10 Second Marriage And Family

Delphine was still a marriageable woman by the standards of the early 1800s and found a second husband in Jean Blanque, with whom she had four more children in their home, the Villa Blanque on Royal Street.

Blanque was a prominent man of many positions, including a banker and lawyer, and even legislator, but he died in 1816, just eight years after marriage.

Wikimedia Commons

6 /10 The LaLaurie Mansion

In 1825, Delphine married her last husband, Leonard LaLaurie, and in a reverse trend, he was much younger than she was at the time.

In 1831 she bought a vast corner property at 1140 Royal Street using only her assets and namesake.

The mansion she had built was two stories tall with a wrap-around balcony and attached slave quarters, which she made use of as a prominent member of the New Orleans society.


5 /10 Trouble At Home

Homelife in the LaLaurie mansion was a thing of contention. Leonard made it difficult for Delphine and her younger children, such to the point where they briefly separated without divorce.

However, it was the slaves who had the worst run there. Even at that time, slaves owned by prominent socialites were usually taken care of.

LaLaurie’s slaves were described as sicky, haggard, wretched, and maltreated without anyone ever knowing the full extent until many years later.

4 /10 Trial By Fire

In 1834, a fire started from the kitchen, which quickly spread to the rest of the house. The fire was started intentionally by a 70-year-old slave woman chained to the stove as a suicide attempt to escape her torment by LaLaurie.

She was starved, and the Madame even beat her daughters when they tried to feed the slaves.

Citizens attempted to rescue the slaves within but were refused by the LaLauries, who even kept the keys to themselves to disallow anyone from trying.

And for fair reason. The state of the slaves in the LaLaurie household was revealed to be unlawful and inhumane – even by slave owner standards.

Wikimedia Commons

3 /10 Two-Faced

What threw many off was how Delphine treated black people in public. She was always courteous, as it made sense for a lady of her position to be, and never abusive in public.

She was even concerned for their health to others, but behind her closed doors, she was much different. She put her slaves in iron collars and whipped them for any slight she encountered.

She starved them and kept them in tight quarters in poor sanitation. Twelve slaves died in her care over just four years, with the youngest being a 12-year-old girl who ran off the roof and died on impact with the ground to escape a whipping.

Wikimedia Commons

2 /10 Mob Law

Once the discovery and confirmation of LaLaurie’s abuse were discovered, a mob of concerned citizens formed to evict her and destroy the house. They beat the home inside and out and looted it inside and out.

The only things left were the standing walls and the unfortunate remaining slaves, who were taken to jail for public viewing to show the sorry state they were left in.

The mansion was later rebuilt and stood today, but its legacy has rendered it one of the “most haunted houses in Louisiana.”

Wikimedia Commons

1 /10 The LaLaurie Legacy

Delphine, meanwhile, fled to France, where she lived in self-imposed exile, but her name has remained infamous as an example of the horrors of slavery.

Even in a time where slavery was shared, the health and wellbeing of slaves were carefully considered.

People like Madame LaLaurie showed the worst of all kinds of people, those who saw others as beneath them and could put on a fake smile to others while they whipped and ruined lives in private.

Continue Reading

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *