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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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The Past Rears Its Head

The Past Rears Its Head

(p.193) Epilogue The Past Rears Its Head
The Lives of Chang and Eng

Joseph Andrew Orser

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores how conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, more famously known as the “Siamese twins,” continued to be objects of public scrutiny in the years and decades after their deaths. It suggests that “like a monster, the past continued to rear its head, always surviving, though not in forms always recognizable,” and that the specter of race continues to haunt Chang and Eng and their families. The chapter reflects on the meanings of the graveyards where Chang and Eng and their wives, Adelaide and Sarah Yates, were buried and discusses the lives of their children after their deaths. It also considers the issue of interracial sex and what the national press were saying about the Bunkers.

Keywords:   conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins, race, Chang and Eng, graveyards, Adelaide Yates, Sarah Yates, national press, interracial sex

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