Welcome back! I’m going to keep this short and sweet by saying let’s dive right back into where we left off! But before I do I would also like to note that I am not a professional, I am simply sharing this story for entertainment purposes and I am trying to research so the information is as accurate as possible! With that being said, some information may be incorrect or the timeline may be off and I apologize (but I try to research as much as I can!). Now, things are about to get intense.
In the first four years of the 1830s, 12 deaths of slaves were recorded on the LaLaurie Mansion property. Now of course such a high number of deaths did raise some suspicions, but at the same time there were a few circumstances according to some sources that led to many overlooking the tragedies. The main one being the fact that slaves were obviously less cared about and their causes of death were not even noted on records. Second would also be the fact that disease was wide spread at the time and that could have easily been the reason behind numerous deaths in such a close time frame.
Although slaves were clearly treated awful, especially during this time and era, there were still rules in terms of the slave owners assuring the well-being of slaves. It was reported that authorities even visited the LaLaurie household after claims had been made that Delphine was in violation. Upon searching for mistreatment, the authorities declared they found no evidence of ‘abuse.’It wasn’t until two major events changed everything.
Now by this point people were both suspicious but also very confused when it came to Delphine. Some knew that she was secretly mistreating her slaves within her household, but many saw her as the good-natured woman who freed two of her slaves earlier on and were constantly concerned about their well-being. But as time went on, what Delphine hid behind closed doors could not be kept inside any longer. The first major instance of concern started with a neighbor who witnessed one of Delphine’s slave girls (reportedly between 8-12 years old and known as Lia or Leah) fall off the ROOF of the LaLaurie mansion. Why you might ask? Apparently Delphine was chasing her with a whip and she was running from punishment. She was buried on property, some sources even stating this was LaLaurie’s way of covering up her crime. But this led to authorities charging Delphine with mistreatment and ‘confiscating’ nine of her slaves and reselling them in a public auction. But what did she do? She had a family member purchase them and return them to the mansion. I personally think this was to keep them from sharing the true horrors that occurred within the household.
The second major event is what blew the mansion doors wide open (quite literally). Rumors were circulating that LaLaurie had her cook chained to the stove in the kitchen. One day this older woman decided she couldn’t take the abuse any longer and feared she would soon face punishment ‘upstairs.’ So in 1834 on April 10th, in an attempt of suicide, the old woman set the kitchen on fire with herself still chained to the stove. But it wasn’t just the kitchen that burst into flames, the entire house set fire.
Soon bystanders saw the flames and rushed to the LaLaurie mansion to help evacuate all inside and extinguish the flames. In order to assure that everyone was evacuated from the mansion, bystanders tried to enter the slave quarters in the attic. That was when they were met with resistance by none other than Delphine; She refused to give them the keys to enter the chambers. So what did the bystanders do? Sources state they busted the door down. And in that moment… they were met with true horror.
Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of the LaLaurie Mansion mini series! Find out what was really going on within the mansion walls as well as it’s haunting legacy that still lives on to this day!