No. 424
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 22, 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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English Franciscan John Forest was burned at Smithfield on this date in 1538 … the undercard to the simultaneous “execution” of a downthrown idol of Saint Derfel Gadarn. The latter had been ripped from its shrine at Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Wales: the place gets its name from Derfel himself and its devotion to its Celtic […]
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Executed Today - 5/22/2019

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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 4/23/2019

via Newspapers.com Phantom cats and a mysterious death. Who can ask for more in an old newspaper story? The "Brooklyn Daily Eagle," March 13, 1886: Ghost stories from the credulous and nervous gentlemen who draw salaries as guardians of the peace in the precinct covered from the Graham avenue station are becoming frequent. Last week they saw the ghost of an Italian. On Thursday night a
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Strange Company - 5/22/2019
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
In July 1890, a man came into the 126th Street Police Station in Harlem, New York City, to report a conversation he had overheard in an elevated train. A young man and woman sitting near him were talking about the mysterious disappearance of Miss Goodwin from the Storm King flats on East 126th Street. They believed that she had been foully dealt with by “professional malpractioners.” The woman
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/18/2019

I’m not the first old sign enthusiast who came across this beauty of a beer sign on the tenement at 317 East Fifth Street. Grieve wrote it up back in January, and I’m sure other fans walking along this quiet East Village block noticed the ancient signage, too. “S. Cort Wines & Lager Beer” the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/19/2019
[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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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Saratoga’s Naughty Girl. | Shocking Youthful Depravity.

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.