1. Killer Slave Mistress
Madame LaLaurie was a cruel slave owner who treated her slaves mercilessly. She chased one of her slaves, a girl by the name Leah, which she is said to have done because the slave had hit a snag while combing her mistress’s hair. The simple issue riled Madame LaLaurie, who got so angry that she started to chase her around, trying to whip her. As she tried to escape the cruelty of her mistress, Leah lost her footing and fell over the railing of a balcony to her death.
2. Returned Slaves
Following the death of Leah, Madame LaLaurie came to the limelight since she was unable to cover up the death of the young girl. She was charged $300 as a fine for treating her slaves badly. The slaves were also taken and sold at an auction. However, by using the help of a relative, LaLaurie was able to get the slaves back. Although she did not stop torturing her slaves, guests to her home said that she was gentle to them.
3. Poor Living Conditions
Madame LaLaurie had a three-story mansion. The residence was located at 1140 Royal Street in the French Quarters. Attached to the mansion were the living quarters of the slaves, which were kept in deplorable conditions, according to eyewitnesses who saw the harsh conditions. The slaves always appeared to be miserable and starved, although she allegedly would pretend to care about their welfare.
4. Weird Experiments
On April 10, 1834, a fire broke out at the LaLaurie mansion. Firemen responding to the fire at the residence discovered the bodies of enslaved Africans in the attic. The bodies were disfigured by what seemed to be mutilation on their bodies, as most of the victims appeared to have had weird medical experiments performed on them. They were chained to the walls and parts of their bodies disgorged. Among the bodies was a woman whose arms were amputated and her skin peeled off.
5. Slaves in Shackles
During the fire incidence, the firemen also found two enslaved Africans bound to the kitchen stove by chains. A 75-year-old woman chained to the kitchen by her ankle said that she had set the house on fire as a suicide attempt. She said that she was not willing to be taken to the upper room, since no one who went there ever returned.
6. Slaves Buried Alive
During an attempt to renovate the LaLaurie mansion, bodies of enslaved Africans, including an infant, were found. The bodies, which had been found underneath the mansion’s floor boards, indicated that the victims had been buried alive. The remains have since been removed from the property, which still stands at 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans.
7. Crazy Mutilations
LaLaurie is believed to have mutilated the slaves as a way of punishing them. According to the New Orleans Bee, seven mutilated bodies were found by bystanders who broke into the slave quarters in an attempt to save them dring the fire. Upon entering the quarters, they discovered naked bodies that were hung by their necks or stretched by their limbs. Other bodies were found with missing body parts. Huge holes were also present in their buttocks from large wounds. Many of the slaves were discovered with their fingernails pulled off, eyes gouged out, and ears torn into pieces. It is also reported that some of the slaves were wearing spiked collars, as well.
Tortured Slaves On Display
At one point, the slaves were on display to the public, as people wanted to confirm that she had truly tortured her slaves. During the display, about 4,000 people went to see the tortured slaves. One of the slaves was an aged woman with a very deep wound on her head that made her to barely able to walk. The condition of the slaves was so appalling, even to other slaveholders, that a mob subsequently stormed the LaLaurie mansion and ran Madame and her husband out of town. The mob destroyed everything in sight before the police arrived, leaving only bare walls. LaLaurie fled during the destruction and went to Paris, where she died in 1849.