The brief career of the favorite prima donna, best known amongst us as “Belle Hincklry,” terminated yesterday morning.
Mme. Hinckley Susini was a native of Albany, where, while at school, she developed quite early in life great musical talent coupled with such energy of nature and buoyancy of spirits as justified her friends in predicting for her a brilliant public career. Her parents’ circumstances were not such as enabled them to give her a thorough musical education, and it was with regret that she, at one time, relinquished the long-cherished plan of studying abroad. She was for several years the leading soprano at one of the largest churches in Albany, and while in that position made many warm and influential friends, who determined to aid her in her laudable desires. She was accordingly tendered a complimentary concert by the people of Albany, which netted such a liberal sum as warranted her in going at once to Italy, where, under the best teachers and masters, she became more finished in style and perfect in execution. The rapidity with which she mastered languages was as remarkable as was her memory, and it was a matter of note, while she was a pupil in Rome, that no task requiring simple effort of memory, was too great for her.
After a successful debut in Paris, she came to this country about two years ago. Since that time she has fairly won her way to the respectful affection of the people, and the cordial recognition of the critics. Free from whim, abounding in good nature, ready at a moment’s notice, thoroughly conversant with the manners and customs of our people, and mindful of the important truth, that “Americans are not fond of disappointments,” she, though not so brilliant as Cazzaniga, or so impassioned as Colson, uniting in herself the conscientiousness of La Grange, and the piquancy of Piccolomini, reigned queen of Young America almost from the night of her debut.
Some months since she married Signor Susini, the distinguished basso; and scarcely a year has parsed, during which time she was a bride and a mother, before we are called upon to record her death.
Her public career was brief and brilliant; her domestic life that of a dutiful daughter, a faithful wife, a loving mother.
~The New York Times, 6 Jul 1862
Agostino Susini & Isabella Hinckley by Brady
Augestino Basil Susini won the heart of Isabella. Source the Net.
Left to right: Isabella; Maria (wife); one of the sons, name unknown; and Dr. John W. Hinckley. c. 1853. Matthew B. Brady photo. Source, Library of Congress.