Bastienne Josèphe (1690s – 1776) was the madam of La Dame en Rose, a brothel in Port-au-Prince, during the 1730s, and a supporter of Augustin Dieufort's Maroon rebellion. She was the mother of Babatunde Josèphe, and grandmother of Eseosa.
Born to a prostitute at La Dame en Rose, Bastienne grew up in the brothel she would later own. When she was young, she allowed outside children to spy on the brothel's illicit activities for a price. Entering her teens, her training in reading, writing, and financial management made her an indispensable assistant to the brothel's madam. During this time, she came to understand that the business could be used for great political gain, as deal-making, scandals, and exchanges of information were common at the brothel.
Though Bastienne was at one point engaged, she ultimately forewent marriage to inherit La Dame en Rose when the previous madam passed. Her skill with finances allowed her to double the business' profits, a portion of which she used to buy the freedom of slaves in Port-au-Prince. She then began acting as an informant for the Maroon rebellion, using her courtesans to gather information on their politically powerful clients.
At some point during her time as madame, Bastienne became acquainted with the Templar Order, working for them as a courier of sorts, and using the money they gave her to free slaves.
In 1735, she met Adéwalé, an Assassin who had been shipwrecked on Saint-Domingue following the loss of his brig, the Victoire. Bastienne soon convinced the Assassin to aid the growing resistance against Pierre, Marquis de Fayet, the French governor of Port-au-Prince. While their relationship was originally rocky, they grew close over the following years.
At some point after de Fayet's death in 1737, Bastienne and Adéwalé shared a night of passion, leading to the eventual birth of a son, Babatunde, who would later become the father of Eseosa.
Bastienne passed away before 1776.
- Bastienne's character is based on the historical figure of the same name, a free business woman of color who ran a brothel in French-occupied Saint-Domingue during the 18th century.