Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie

Madame Marie Delphine de Lopez y Angulo Blanque LaLaurie is one of the most rumoured about women in American history, and yet, what do we really know about the beautiful Creole Socialite?
Born into wealth and privilege in New Orleans society in the1800, there are still rampant rumors 200 years later that claim she was everything from a slaver owner to serial killer, but what is the truth?  Is there enough historical documentation to prove or disprove the crimes supposedly committed?

The following is a compiled timeline, associated records, and historical proof about Madame LaLaurie.  As always, we encourage the research of historical fact before we all pick up our pitchforks and torches... 
We want to remind everyone that what is considered socially acceptable now has little to do with the historical past, and what we find morally offensive today would be a drop in the bucket to most past civilizations.  The reason we do not let history slip through the sands of time is so that we can remember the past and make sure mistakes made are never repeated. 

Historical Timeline

1732  Barthelemy Daniel de Macarty arrived in New Orleans with his elder brother Jean Jacques.  He married Francois Helene Pellerin.

1768 Ramon de Lopez y Angulo is born.

1775 Marie Delphine Macarty, a noted beauty of the times, is born to prominent socialite parents Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable or Vevue Lecomte (The Widow Lecomte)  there is confusion as to if they are one in the same.  She was one of 5 children.

1794 Francois Helene Pellerin and Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Macarty acquire Macarty Plantation, with records supporting their ownership of hundreds of slaves, the majority of whom work the Sugar Plantation.

11 Jun 1800  Marie Delphine Macarty marries Ramon de Lopez y Angulo, high ranking officer of the Spanish army.  She is his second wife, and they married without the consent of the King of Spain which disrupted his military and social placement in Louisiana and made it necessary for him to return to Spanish court.  He was exiled to San Sebastian.

26 Mar 1804   Ramon de Lopez y Angulo is pardoned once Spain gives Louisiana to the United States of America and he is granted a position in New Orleans.  On route via the American ship Ulysses, the ship runs aground and Ramon dies of heart failure before ever reaching his destination.

1804  Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angulo de Candelaria, also known as Borquita named after her paternal Grandmother, is born in Havana, Cuba to Marie Delphine Macarty and Ramon Lopez y Angulo.

1808  Marie Delphine Macarty de Lopez y Angulo marries her second husband, slave trader Jean Pierre Paulin Blanque.  Jean Blanque has more than 350 records (That we have found) with his name on them as proof of his occupation in the  Louisiana Slave Trading Records.  As well, files were found in the same index of slaves being sold by the Creditors of Jean Blanque, assumed to be selling off his business assets after his death.  These records had dates of May 1816, so it is suggested that Jean Blanque died before May of 1816, subsequently we have not found records for him dating 1817, and this supports our theory.

1815 Birth of daughter Marie Jeanne Blanque to Marie Delphine and Jean Blanque.

1816 The death of Jean Blanque, slave trader and husband of Marie Delphine Macarty de Lopez y Angulo.

12 Jan 1828  Marie Delphine Macarty (Widow de Lopez y Angulo, Blanque) and physician Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie marry.  They had one child, Jean Louis LaLaurie.

26 Jan 1828 Marie Delphine Macarty sells land to Martin Duralde.

1832  The LaLaurie family moves into 1140 Royal Street.  They live comfortably with opulent decoration, wealth and prominence in the community, and influence among the French Creole.

10 April 1834  After a fire in the kitchen of the LaLaurie house, accusations of abuse against the family slaves are published in two newspapers of the time.  This incites a riot and looting of their family residence at 1140 Royal Street.  In the end only two walls of the building were said to be left standing, and over $40,000 dollars worth of damage done.

2007 'LaLaurie House' as it has come to be known as is purchased by actor Nicholas Cage.  It is reportedly on the market again for those interested in purchasing it.


The only found text documents recording Marie Delphine's name in any variation at this point are written out below.  Compiled from Ancestry.com, and the City Archives, New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana. Parish Court (Orleans Parish) - no original documents are available to us at this time, please use reference numbers if looking up the documents personally.

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Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820 from Ancestry.com
(Assumed to coordinate and verify below listed record from New Orleans' Public Library)

Document Date: 9/24/1819
Notary: M. de Armas
Document Number: 44
Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).
Master: Mrs. Delphine Macarty Ve. Blanque
Master's Gender: 1
Name: Jean Louis
Gender: male
Race: black
Age: 50
Freed: by living mistress
The manumission did not involve cash payment.
Slave was freed.
no prices at all

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Index to Slave Emancipation Petitions, 1814-1843

Owner Slave Year Item
Macarty, Delphine, wife of Louis Lalaurie Devince 1834 177E
McCarty, Marie Delphine, Widow John Blanque Jean Louis

1819

89E

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Possible document matches for Dr. Louis LaLaurie.

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820

Document Date: 5/5/1784
Notary: Rodriguez
Document Number: 343
Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).
Master: Luis Laloir
Master's Gender: 2
Name: Juana
Gender: female
Race: black
Age: 58
Freed: under will
The manumission did not involve cash payment.
Slave was freed.
Name Type of Freer: Delery
Freer: Francisco
Freer Gender: male
Reasons: good services
no prices at all
Comments: Document also at LHC, dated 1782/03/27. Juana was freed with another Black female slave named Margarita, also in the same will found at LHC. Laloire will also at Orleans Notarial, Mazange 1782/03/21, so there were actually 3 eman recs for this slave.


Louisiana. Parish Court (Orleans Parish)
Index to the Suit Records, 1813-1835
New Orleans Public Library Index matches for Marie Delphine Macarty

Plaintiff Defendant Number
Blanque, John, syndics of the creditors of Macarty, Delphine, widow Blanque, tutrix of her children 990
Blanque, J. Macarty, D. and widow Blanque 1936
Macarty, Delphine [wife of L. Lalaurie] Cahallin, Thomas 5809
Macarty, Delphine [wife of Louis Lalaurie] Grymes, John R. 5673
Macarty, Delphine, wife of Ls. Lalaurie Fisher, William 6255

Possible other matches:

Blancque, John (widow and syndics & creditors of his estate) Piernas, A. Lecomte 1033
Blancque, John (widow and syndics & creditors of his estate) Leclerc, Jean 1031
Blancque, John (widow and syndics & creditors of his estate) Blancque, Pierre 1032
Blanque (Widow) Blanque (her husband), syndic of creditors of 1079
Blanque (Widow) Blanque (her husband), syndic of creditors of 1077
Blanque, J. Beale, Ths. 1934
Blanque, J. Beale, Th. 1935
Blanque, John Fleury, Laurette 833
Blanque, John Fleury, Florence 832
Blanque, Widow Blanque (Syndics of) 1145

Louisiana. First Judicial District Court (Orleans Parish).
Suit Records, 1813-1835.
New Orleans Public Library

Macarty, Delphine LaLaurie, Louis 10,237
Macarty, Delphine Guillaume, Lucien 9751

Historical Books and Related Articles

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
May - December 1825
Acts 285-640 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Under Louis Barthelemy (Father) and widowed Delphine Macarty Blanque, sale of slave and property.

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
January to February 1828
Acts 1-231 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Sale of Land, Marriage Contract

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
March - April 1828
Acts 252-502 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Emancipation of Helen

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
April - May 1828
Acts 511-725 Inc.

Document Excerpt - 'Procuration' (Probably of Slaves)

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
November - December 1828
Acts 1047-1295 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Sale of Slaves

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
November - December 1829
Acts 1079-1262 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Sale of Slave

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
January - March 1831
Acts 1-203 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Slaves (Unclear if purchasing or selling)

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
April - May 1831
Acts 203-441 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Sale of Property, Sale of Lot of Ground, Sale of Two Lots of Ground

Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
Cover Damage - Illegible
1832

Document Excerpt - Obligation and Bond
Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
January - April 1833
Acts 1-200 Inc.

Document Excerpt - Authorization, Sale of Slave
Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
Cover Damage - Illegible
January 1834

Document Excerpt - Quittance and Release of Mortgage
Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
August - September 1834

Document Excerpt - Quittance and Release of Mortgage
Original Document

Felix de Armas
Notary Public
January - April 1835

Document Excerpt - Quittance and Release of Mortgage
Original Document

The Mississippi Question
1795-1803
A Study in Trade, Polotics, and Diplomacy
By Arthur Preston Whitaker, Professor of American History
Published by the American Historical Association
1934

Direct reference to Marie Delphine Macarty and her first husband Ramon de Lopez y Angulo in regards to his political and military position.

           
The Old Families of Louisiana
1931
By Stanley Clisby Arthur, George Campbell Huchet de Kernion and Charles Patton Dimitry
        
En Louisiane - The Louisianan
Legendes et Realites - Legends and Realities
1936
Rene Cruchet, President of the National Acadamy of Sciences, Beautiful Writing and Arts of Bordeaux

Full Translation to English

     
Old Louisiana Plantation Homes and Family Trees
1941
By Herman de Bachelle Seebold
Vol. II

Direct reference to Marie Delphine Macarty, with reference to her beauty, her first marriage and her daughter Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angelo de Candelaria.

Old Louisiana Plantation Homes and Family Trees
1941
By Herman de Bachelle Seebold
Vol. II

Direct reference to Delphine Macarty and her first husband, Ramon de Lopez y Angulo.  Her daughter, Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angelo de Candelaria and her marriage to Placide Forstall.

  
   
   
   

Links:

Information about Macarty Plantation, New Orleans circa 1700-1900
By Water Neighbourhood Association
http://www.bywater.org/history.html
Akwaaba in the Bayou - Converted Plantation Luxury Rooms
http://www.akwaaba.com/bayou/serenity.html
New Orleans Public Library
http://www.nutrias.org/
New Orleans Norarial Archives
http://www.notarialarchives.org
KalilaSmith's Website
http://www.kalilasmith.com/
Delphine LaLaurie according to Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie
  Charlmette Battlefield and Chalmette National Cemetery
Cultural Landscape Report (Includes Photos of Macarty)
By Kevin Risk
Cultural Resources Stewardship Division
National Park Serive, Southeastern Regional Office
August 1999
http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/jela1/clr.pdf
Information on Creol Customs
Plaçage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaçage
 
   

The Truth Verses Fiction

We know that in her lifetime, Marie Delphine Macarty de Lopez y Angulo Blanque LaLaurie was a woman of exception beauty and was envied by her peers.  There is rarely a written word about her that does not comment about her exceptional beauty.

We know that the Macarty family owned a Plantation and relied heavily on slaves to work their Sugar fields.  However, we can also see from the records of the time that Delphine did not buy or trade slaves nearly as often as her contemporaries.

We know that during her time in New Orleans, Delphine personally was responsible for freeing three slaves, Jean Louis, Helen, and Devince.

We know that Delphine married three times, and was widowed the first two times, leaving her with small children to provide for.  We know she fought for the money owed to her and took several people to court over funds from her second husband's estate.

We know that on April 10, 1834 there was a house fire at 1140 Royal Street, where household slaves were found incarcerated.  The slaves were removed from the house and kept in the local jailhouse.  None of the slaves died from the fire or from their incarceration.

After a fire in the kitchen of the LaLaurie house, accusations of abuse against the family slaves are published in two newspapers of the time, one of which was the New Orleans Bee, which has been stated by a variety of scholarly sources as the first primary example of yellow journalism.  This incites a riot and looting of their family residence at 1140 Royal Street.  In the end only two walls of the building were said to be left standing, and over $40,000 dollars worth of damage done.

Delphine and her husband physician Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie flee New Orleans, later split up according to letters exchanged between Dr. LaLaurie and Charles De Hault De Lassus.

Family sources claimed Delphine returned to France and lived there with her children, who traveled between France and the US extensively.

In 1924 the sexton of St. Louis Cemetery #1 claimed to have found an old cracked copper memorial plate that read 'Madame LaLaurie, née Marie Delphine Macarty, décédée à Paris, le 7 Décembre, 1842, à l'âge de 68 ans'.

In 1998 a book was written by a New Orleans practitioner or eclectic magic and tourist business proprietor, self published and accredited to her personal unverifiable research.  The book, titled Journey Into Darkness: Ghosts and Vampires of New Orleans, by author Kalila Katherina Smith is also available in most New Orleans gift shops along with her personal lines of Voodoo bathing products and spell kits.  This source alone is the sole point of origin for all notes on torture chambers, tortured people, scientific and medical experiments, mass murder, and the death of slaves.  In mention a week after the original fire at 1140 Royal Street the New Orleans Bee clearly states that there had been no deaths as a result of the incident.


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