Then there are facts that are proven but don't add up. One such mystery has me scratching my head so much that even though I don't think I'll use it in the book, it's going to bug me if I can't come up with any theories.
I thought we could make a game of it.
Whoever can come up with the most imaginative answer to this question will receive a free PDF version of Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman.
Let's get our thinking caps on!
Marie Laveau's husband bought an eighteen-year-old slave named Juliette whose contract stated she must be freed at 24-years-old. He resold her within the year because she kept trying to run away. Her next owner sold her within a year for the same reason. Juliette continued swapping hands until Marie Laveau purchased her again, then sold her again. The girl was owned by ten people before she was finally freed at the age of 25.
What was Juliette running from? Or what was she running to? What was so urgent that she couldn't wait until she was 24? Most importantly, why did Marie Laveau buy her again after things didn't work out the first time?
My gut reaction says Marie bought her the second time out of pity, and perhaps the first time as well. It's an easy idea to support; Marie was known for being a philanthropist. Almost all of her slaves were in situations where they needed her help: an eight-year-old girl and two pregnant women who already had infants. It's possible that these purchases were all service projects.
If Marie bought Juliette out of pity, it meant she thought she could help the girl somehow. Since the girl was sold again only nine months after her purchase, whatever Marie planned on doing with her - helping her, keeping her safe, using her as a maid - didn't work out.
Or perhaps Marie planned on owning her for only nine months from the beginning. That doesn't make sense to me, especially since the girl ran away again shortly after Marie purchased her.
There are rumors that Marie Laveau was a procuress of prostitutes, which would lead you to believe Juliette was running from sexual slavery. This is impossible to support. While Marie Laveau was openly criticized for many things in her lifetime, this accusation was only made against one voodoo priestess - Betsy Toleano - who was arrested multiple times for "illegal" mixed-racial gatherings. This is most likely outrageous libel, but even if it was true, no one suspected Marie Laveau of any such misconduct until long after her death.
Modern Marie Laveau enthusiasts say she fought for civil rights, so one might think she wanted to help Juliette earn her freedom before she was 24. This is ridiculous. While Marie owned several slaves, she never freed any of them, and if she was concerned with Juliette's freedom, she wouldn't have sold her twice.
Let the creative theorizing begin!