No. 440
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
September 18, 2019

Chang and Eng, The Siamese Twins.

A characteristic group, representing Chang and Eng, the Siamese Twins, with their wives and Children
February 29, 2016
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To whom much is given … BEIJING — A man who in 2009 killed six of his family, including his own children, was executed Friday [September 16, 2011] in Beijing. Li Lei, 31 years old, stabbed his parents, two sons, wife and sister to death on November 23, 2009, at their home in Beijing’s Daxing […]
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Executed Today - 9/16/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Nicholas Monsarrat had a long and distinguished career as an author. He is probably best remembered today for the 1951 novel, "The Cruel Sea," and 1952's "The Story of Esther Costello." When he was visiting a Quebec shooting-lodge in 1953, he was told a story which was as compelling--and far stranger--than anything in his fiction. Some time later, he wrote an account of his eerie
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Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Charles G. Corlis kept a bowling saloon on Broadway between Leonard and Franklin Streets in New York City. On the evening of March 20, 1843, several bowlers saw a woman wearing a veil and a straw hat, enter the saloon. They saw her leave the place with Henry Colton, owner of the Colton House hotel, a few doors away on Leonard Street. Sometime later, witnesses saw Charles Corlis talking with
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Murder By Gaslight - 9/14/2019

Just when you think you’ve seen every old-school manhole cover that still remains in New York, you discover another you’ve never noticed before—with a new name embossed on it and a different design. This lid, made by M. Dattner, is a new one for me—spotted on East 78th Street between First and Second Avenues. That’s […]
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Ephemeral New York - 9/15/2019
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Chang and Eng, The Siamese Twins.

Chang and Eng

A characteristic group, representing Chang and Eng, the Siamese Twins, with their wives and Children. [more]

On the page herewith, we give a large and finely executed picture of Chang and Eng, the famous united Siamese Twins, who were born in the city of Meklong, in Siam, in May, 1811. They were brought to this country by the captain of the hip Sachem, arriving in August, 1829. They were at once brought before the public for exhibition, and during the ensuing twelve years, were visited by millions of people, taking, in the course of their travels, the United States, Great Britain, France, Holland and Belgium. They are united to each other by a ligature, or band, about three and a half inches in length, and eight in circumference. Formed at the extremity of the breast bone of each, and extending downwards to the abdomen. The upper part of the band is a strong cartilaginous substance; the lower part is soft and fleshy, and contains a tube or cavity, presumed tube about an inch and a half in circumference. The flexibility of this cartilage is so great, that they can readily turn those shoulders outwards which are together when standing in a natural position. Having secured a competence by exhibiting themselves, they settled in Wilkes County, North Carolina, but afterwards removed to Mt. Airy, Surry County, where they now reside. Soon after taking up their abode in this reason, they simultaneously became smitten with the charms of two pretty sisters, named Yates, and each selecting his partner, the four were made two with all due ceremony. This double union has apparently proved highly satisfactory to all concerned. The ladies are represented as amiable and interesting, while it is certain that the twins are devoted to their wives. At the present time, Mr. Eng has six and Mr. Chang five children, all of whom are apt scholars and remarkably well behaved. They are also very prepossessing in appearance, and are great favorites in the community where they reside. The illustration will give a perfect idea of the appearance of the families, every likeness being copied from daguerreotypes, taken especially for the purpose. In closing these remarks of the twins and their families, we say that they seem to be remarkably happy, enjoy good health, have ample means to procure not only the comforts but the luxuries of life, and bid fair, as far as human judgement may go, to live many more years of domestic happiness and comfort. They are both naturalized citizens of our country.


Reprinted from Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, March 5, 1853.