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October 1, 2013

In 1838 Harriet Martineau visited New Orleans where she heard tales of a particularly abusive slave owner. Her interest focused on Delphine LaLaurie who resided in a mansion at 1140 Royal Street. 

"Martineau reported that public rumors about LaLaurie's mistreatment of her slaves were sufficiently widespread that a local lawyer was dispatched to Royal Street to remind LaLaurie of the laws relevant to the upkeep of slaves." The attorney found no evidence of wrong doing. 

Nonetheless, LaLaurie was forced to forfeit nine slaves after a subsequent investigation found her guilty of slave abuse. 

It was later rumored that one of LaLaurie slaves intentionally set fire to the mansion to draw attention to ongoing abuse. Bystanders forced entry to squelch the fire and discovered "seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated ... suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other."

Tales of the abuse quickly spread throughout New Orleans. An angry mob of White residents descended on the mansion and "demolished and destroyed everything upon which they could lay their hands." 

LaLaurie fled the mob violence, escaping to Mobile, Alabama and then to Paris. 

What we learn from the historical LaLaurie episode is that:

1. Laws protecting slaves from abuse were enforced.
2. White residents did not tolerate owners who abused their slaves.

[Sources: Wikipedia | NOLA | cogitz ]

Who was Eulalie Mandeville and why have you never heard of her?

Black history they don't want you to know From Black History They Don't Want You To Know by DailyKenn.com

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