The everyday life of the" Orleans Saltychikha " Delphine Lalori: murders, tortures, experiments on people
Categories: History | North America | Society | WorldBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-everyday-life-of-the-orleans-saltychikha-delphine-lalori-murders-tortures-experiments-on-people
Since school, we know the story of the landowner Daria Nikolaevna Saltykova, nicknamed "Saltychikha", who tortured and killed her serfs. But few people know that America also had its own slave-owner-a monster, famous for torture and executions no less than her Russian counterpart. But unlike Saltychikha, Delphine Lalori never answered for her crimes.
On an April evening in 1834, the alarm bell rang over New Orleans. From the tower of the fire station, a fire was signaled in the French Quarter, where the wealthiest citizens lived. As it turned out, a luxurious three-story mansion at 1140 Royal Street, owned by a well-known socialite in the city, Delphine Lalaurie, and her husband, a doctor of medicine, was on fire.
One of the few surviving portraits of Delphine Lalaurie
Despite the fact that the house was burning, its owner was in no hurry to go outside, actively taking part in the fight against the fire. Firefighters at first thought that the upset hostess was at home alone, until they reached the attic, which had already begun to devour the flames. The door to the room located under the roof was locked and the firefighters, despite the protests of Madame Lalaurie, had to break them down.
What the firefighters saw in the dim, smoke-filled room remained in their memory forever and probably had nightmares more than once. There were seven black slaves in the attic, whose condition was extremely difficult. But the cause of their suffering was not the flames coming from the lower floors. All these people were most mercilessly mutilated and exhausted to an extreme degree.
Black slaves at the beginning of the XIX century had no more rights than domestic animals
Blood, broken limbs, terrible scars and bruises — this is not the most terrible thing that appeared before the eyes of courageous fighters with fire. One of the men had a fractured skull and there was a stick in the gaping hole, with which, apparently, they tried to mix his brain. The mouths of several unfortunate people were stuffed with excrement and tightly sewn with thread.
Slaves were sold and even exchanged for things, but it was not customary to mutilate them, much less kill them
They say that in addition to the seven half-dead slaves, there were several corpses in the attic that had already begun to decompose. The news of the terrible discovery instantly spread around the neighborhood and an angry crowd gathered at the Lalori house, where the fire had just been extinguished, demanding the death of the hostess. Even in In the United States, where at the beginning of the XIX century black slaves were equated with things, such atrocities caused outrage.
But the vigilantes did not manage to deal with Madame Lolari, as she was gone. Taking advantage of the general confusion caused by the terrible discovery in the attic, the sadist escaped and boarded a ship bound for France. The crowd had to be satisfied with the destruction of the part of the house that the firefighters managed to save from the fire.
Slaveholders could punish their slaves as they pleased
Who was Madame Lalaurie and why did she become an inhuman monster? Delphine was born in 1780 in New Orleans, in the wealthy family of a slave trader Bartholomew Louis Macarty. It is obvious that the young Macarty had not a very pleasant character, because despite her attractiveness and excellent dowry, she married only at the age of 25.
With her first husband, the Spaniard Don Ramon de Lopez, Delphine lived only 4 years. Her husband, a high-ranking Spanish officer, suddenly fell ill and died during a family trip to Madrid. From the first spouse, the woman gave birth to a daughter-Maria Borgia Delphine Lopez. The mother doted on the child, called her Barkita and spoiled her as best she could.
Later, Delphine Macarty married for the second time, for a rich banker Jean Blanquet, who also died of a fleeting illness after 8 years of living together. Blanke left his already poor wife a good capital, which made her one of the most promising widows in the city.
Portrait of Delphine Lalaurie from her home
After living for pleasure for almost 9 years, the woman marries again, this time for the doctor Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie, turning into Delphine Lalaurie. With her husband, they acquire a plot of land in the French Quarter and in 1832, the same ill-fated mansion with the address 1140 Royal Street appears on this place.
The secrets of Madame Lalaurie's new family life are shrouded in darkness, but it is known that in a mansion with a torture chamber in the attic, a woman lived with her husband, 4 daughters from different marriages and a servant. In high society, Delphine was known as an educated and very nice lady, but there were rumors that in fact there was a devil hiding in this woman.
The living conditions of the slaves in the city were better than those of their counterparts on the farms, but even here everything depended on the owner
But what the public saw was only the ceremonial side of the life of the Lalaurie family. There were persistent rumors that the woman has many more slaves than the townspeople think, and those whom Delphine does not show do not seem happy at all. Evil tongues even claimed that the husband of a socialite conducted experiments on people in a specially equipped secret laboratory in the bowels of the house.
The first suspicions that the rumors about Lalori are not without foundation appeared after the strange suicide of a 12-year-old slave girl who was acting as a maid. The child climbed onto the roof of the house and rushed from there to the pavement. At that time, such trifles were not given much importance, but the local police were alerted that Lalori was caught secretly burying a suicide victim in the garden of the house.
Wax figures depicting Madame Lalaurie and her victims at the Conti Museum, New Orleans
After this incident, everyone remembered that before that one of Delphine's slaves had thrown himself out of a third-floor window and also crashed to his death. The window was then bricked up so that such cases would not happen again. The outrage of the public forced the police investigators to come to Lolari and demand an explanation. In addition to Madame herself, who did not tell the police anything interesting, the servants of the house were also secretly interrogated.
The slaves belonging to Delphine seemed frightened and were very taciturn. But still, we managed to learn something from their stories. As it turned out, the girl committed suicide, because she was punished with a whip for painfully pulling a lock of the mistress's hair when combing. After the execution, the lady promised the child to come up with a more sophisticated punishment, after which she took her own life.
Delphine Lalaurie in season 3 of the TV series "American Horror Story"
The man who jumped out of the window also committed suicide because of a deadly fear of sophisticated punishments, which the hostess with a stormy imagination did not skimp on. Such an attitude to the servants, although black, was considered unacceptable by the investigation and the woman was tried.
The court sentenced Delphine Lolari to a large monetary fine and forced her to sell 9 slaves to save them from torture. Despite the fact that the punishment was light, the very fact of the trial spoiled Madame's reputation and forced her to start leading a closed lifestyle.
A slave auction in New Orleans in the middle of the XIX century
Very little is known about the fate of the victims of the sadist. All seven mutilated slaves survived and after being rescued from the Dolphin mansion, they lived in the city prison. To satisfy the curiosity of the residents of New Orleans, the city authorities allowed to take excursions to them. The press wrote that 4 thousand people wanted to see with their own eyes the victims of the cruelty of the mistress of slaves.
The house where the terrible events took place was restored and today it is one of the attractions of New Orleans. At the end of the XIX century, during the reconstruction, several human skeletons were found in its basement, immured under the floor. Since then, the mansion has changed owners many times and enjoys a bad reputation as a haunted house.
Madame Lalaurie's mansion, where terrible events took place
Despite the fact that Delphine Lalaurie deserved the most severe punishment, she did not suffer any. It is not known exactly how the monster woman died and there were a variety of rumors about her death. One thing is known for sure — the "Orleans Saltychikha" died in Paris and is buried in one of the cemeteries of the city.
At the beginning of the XX century, one of the keepers of the First Cemetery found parts of a copper plaque in the ground with the inscription "Madame Lalaurie, nee Marie Delphine Macarty, died in Paris, December 7, 1842". However, records from the Paris city archive indicate that the funeral of an American woman took place in 1849.
The story of Madame Lolari is reflected in modern culture. Many books and articles have been written about the monster woman, and in addition, one of the episodes of the series "American Horror Story"is dedicated to her.
Keywords: Louisiana | Negroes | New Orleans | Experiments | Slave trade | MistressPost News Article
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