After being tried, convicted and executed for the triple murder of one of Morristown’s most respected families, the story of Antoine Le Blanc should have been over.
The trial of Antoine Le Blanc for the murders of the Sayre family began on August 13, 1833. Judge Gabriel Ford handed down the sentence. Le Blanc was to “be hanged by the neck until dead,” and then “be delivered to Dr. Isaac Canfield, a surgeon, for dissection”.
[H]ooking the corpse up to a primitive battery, the doctors endeavored to prove a prevailing theory of the time, which linked electrical current and muscular motor impulses. Although unable to resurrect the dead man, the scientists reportedly got Le Blanc’s eyes to roll around in his head, caused his limbs to tense somewhat, and even elicited a slight grin from his dead lips.
Le Blanc’s skin was peeled off and dispatched to the Atno Tannery on Washington Street to be fashioned into a variety of “charming little keepsakes”.
A large number of wallets, purses, lampshades and book jackets were produced from the hair follicle studded hide.
Strips of skin were sold on the streets, each one personally signed by the honorable Sheriff Ludlow to verify its authenticity.