Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a wealthy society woman of New Orleans, is most famous for the torture and murder of her slaves. LaLaurie was born around 1775. Her family moved from Ireland to New Orleans. She married her first time in 1800 to a Spanish officer. In 1804 they went to Spain. LaLaurie gave birth to a daughter, Marie, en-route. Her husband died before they reached Madrid.
Back in New Orleans, LaLaurie married a banker and had four more children with him. Her second husband died eight years after they got married. Finally, she married Leonard LaLaurie, a doctor, in 1825, and together, they had a mansion where she and her husband and two daughters lived.
LaLaurie was extraordinarily cruel to her slaves. However, no one could find evidence of this. Apparently, a young slave girl, Lia, had fallen from the mansion after hurting LaLaurie while brushing her hair. This, again, could not be confirmed. Another rumor claimed that she chained the cook to the stove.
A fire started in their kitchen in 1834, and when police arrived, the cook was actually chained to the stove, and had tried to kill herself because she was going to be punished. Her punishment was going to be dispensed in a room in the attic, a room that all of LaLaurie’s slaves feared. The search of the house that resulted showed a grotesquely mutilated group of slaves in these quarters, with limbs stretched, hanging from necks.
Mobs of angry people attacked the LaLaurie mansion. LaLaurie disappeared shortly afterwards, and by 1836, her mansion was abandoned. Her death is unclear.