No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

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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Fifteen-year-old Jody Randall of Long Beach, California, was in most ways a typical suburban teenager.  The one thing that set her apart was a passion for antiques which was unusual for someone of her youth.  As a result of spending all her available free time (and her parents’ money) on her hobby, she eventually amassed some impressive pieces, including a doll collection noteworthy enough to
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Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
Working as a domestic servant in 19th century New York City had plenty of challenges. Sure, servants received room and board in addition to their wages, and they usually had at least Sunday afternoon off. But living in another family’s home was isolating and lonely—particularly if you didn’t speak English or weren’t accustomed to urban […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/28/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
Museum of the City of New YorkWilliam Howe and Abraham Hummel were the most successful criminal lawyers in Gilded Age New York. With a combination of skill, showmanship, and unethical practices, they defended most of the city’s significant criminals and many of its murderers. Whether they won or lost, Howe and Hummel made every trial sensational. Here are a few of the many accused murderers
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/26/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
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.