|Death: ||Oct. 3, 1866|
North Carolina, USA
Bianca Robbins' obituary caught my attention the first time I read it. It was written in the style of the day. By today's standards, it would be rude. Bianca was a New Orleans Madam, returning from the north with goods for her business. Off the coast of North Carolina, the ship she was coming home on was caught in a hurricane and sunk. Over 300 lives were lost.
The Ouachita Telegraph (Monroe, LA)
October 18, 1866
Page 2, Column 1
Among the lost on the Evening Star was Bianca Robbins, a woman who kept a fashionable bagnio in New Orleans. She was returning from the North with an invoice of attractions for her establishment, when the hurricane overtook the ship and consigned the virtuous and the depraved to a watery grave. The old harlot left property amounting to $100,000 to be inherited by two children now at school in Kentucky.
A survivor of the sinking painted a more sympathetic picture of the 40 prostitutes that were on board:
"The women on board the ship behaved nobly during the terrible scenes of the tempest, yielding a ready compliance to all orders given them. There were about for[t]y prostitutes on board the ship, but they had behaved with great propriety from the first. There were but two or three exceptions to this, and they were not particularly bad. Most of the women had been obliged to remain in their rooms, or in the saloons, previous to the storm, owing to the rough weather. Many of them were sea-sick, as indeed were many of the men. One of the prostitutes, who was the proprietress of an elegant house of ill-fame in New Orleans, had a beautiful pair of ponies on board, and a fine new carriage. They were all anxious to work when danger appeared, and some of them did good service." (Survivor William H. Harris)
Could the madam with the fine horses and carriage be Bianca?
Among the published passenger lists reported in American Papers was a Mrs. W.H. Robbins. This is probably Bianca.
1866 Tax lists show Bianca at 68 Union (Street). She is shown to sell "Retail Liquor". The book "Mutiny at Fort Jackson" by Michael D. Pierson, page 181, quotes a letter from a Union soldier stating that "Miss Bianca Robbins" was "...a lady friendly to the Union."
Body lost at sea
Specifically: Lost in the sinking of the Steamer Evening Star.
Created by: Lora Peppers
Record added: Oct 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78609720