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Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng Bunker: Topics in Chronicling America

Chang and Eng Bunker are the original siamese twins and among the most famous sets of conjoined twins. This guide provides access to materials related to the "Siamese Twins" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Mark Twin's newspaper essay "The Personal Habits of the Siamese Twins." July 29, 1869. The Plymouth Weekly Democrat (Plymouth, IN), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

One of the most famous sets of conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, or “Left” and “Right”, were the original “Siamese Twins”. The twins led relatively normal lives; they married, worked as farmers, and had 21 children between them. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1844 The Siamese twins have reportedly settled down as farmers, are married, and have children.
July 29, 1869 Mark Twain writes satirical essay “The Personal Habits of the Siamese Twins” as a metaphor for post-Civil War problems.
January 17, 1874 Death of the Siamese Twins.