Eng and Chang Bunker died on this day in 1874

Word of the Day – Thursday, January 17th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email


Eng and Chang Bunker were conjoined twins
Common clues:
Famous Siamese twin; Chang’s twin; Celebrated twin; He and his brother were inseparable; Chang's closest relative
Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year
Frequency in English language: 34081 / 86800
American Sideshow Page 24 – Chang and Eng Bunker

Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker (May 11, 1811–January 17, 1874) were the conjoined twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term "Siamese twins."

The Bunker brothers were born on May 19, 1810 in Siam (now Thailand), in the province of Samutsongkram, to a Chinese fisherman (Ti-eye) and a half-Chinese/half-Malay mother (Nok). They were joined at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage. Their livers were fused but independently complete. Although 19th century medicine did not have the means to do so, modern surgical techniques would have easily allowed them to be separated today. In 1829, they were discovered in Siam by British merchant Robert Hunter and exhibited as a curiosity during a world tour. Upon termination of their contract with their discoverer, they successfully went into business for themselves. In 1839, while visiting Wilkesboro, North Carolina with P.T. Barnum, the twins were attracted to the town and settled there, becoming naturalized United States citizens.

Determined to start living a normal life as much as possible, the brothers settled on a plantation, bought slaves, and adopted the name "Bunker". They were accepted as respected members of the community. On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates. Chang and his wife had sixteen children; Eng and his wife had fifteen . In time, the wives squabbled and eventually two separate households were set up just west of Mount Airy, North Carolina in the community of White Plains – the twins would alternate spending four days at each home. During the American Civil War Chang's son Christopher and Eng's son Stephen both fought for the Confederacy. Many of their descendants still live in the Mount Airy area. The twins died on the same day in 1874. Chang, who had been in declining health for several years, died first; Eng died five minutes later.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chang and Eng Bunker"