Saturday, August 25, 2012

 Another question from a fan:
J.C. of Mamaroneck, New York writes:  A tour guild told me that 127 slaves died in the fire at the Lalaurie Mansion.  Is this true?

A fire broke out on April 10, 1834 at 1140 Royal Street revealing a number of slaves who had been malnourished and mistreated.  The best historical record seems to indicate that seven such slaves were found in the upper level of the kitchen annex.   Madame Lalaurie appears to have owned about 40 slaves during her lifetime.  The condition of the seven who were rescued was enough to seal the Lalauries' reputation as "monsters" when over 2,000 people showed up at the Cabildo in New Orleans to view the victims and see if the local newspaper reports were true.  I don't give a number in my book, but like the urban legend that suggests more than seven.  On the other hand, 127 is ridiculous.

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