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The Lives of Chang and EngSiam's Twins in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Joseph Andrew Orser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469618302

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469618326.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Connected Twins

The Connected Twins

(p.76) Chapter Three The Connected Twins
The Lives of Chang and Eng

Joseph Andrew Orser

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the domestic life of conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, more famously known as the “Siamese twins,” in Wilkes County, a small, rural community in northwestern North Carolina. It first considers the possible reasons why Chang and Eng decided to settle in Wilkes County despite diminishing economic opportunities in the community. In particular, it examines issues of class, race, and sex associated with the twins' time in Wilkes County. It also describes how the twins established social networks with the community's commercial and professional class, obtained U.S. citizenship, and acquired property. Finally, the chapter discusses Chang and Eng's marriage to white sisters Adelaide and Sarah Yates, respectively, and how their unions sparked controversies regarding issues of deformity and race.

Keywords:   conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins, Wilkes County, North Carolina, race, social networks, citizenship, marriage, Adelaide Yates, Sarah Yates

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