Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Never Saw Them In Mayberry!
Interesting that today is the birthday of the well known "Siamese Twins" who resided for many years near Mt.Airy NC.
"So unique and famous were the brothers that the term "Siamese Twins" is derived from their birthplace of Siam. Their remarkable lives would also inspire a short story by Mark Twain, a BBC radio play, a best-selling novel, and even a musical in Singapore."
They were called "Chinese Twins" in Siam.Wikipedia gives some highlights.Their wives were rather remarkable in my opinion.
"...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. 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, the twins were attracted to the area and settled on a 110 acre farm in nearby Traphill, 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". On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates. Interestingly, this made their respective children double first cousins, a situation wherein the cousins are actually as genetically related as half-siblings. Their Traphill home is where they shared a bed built for four. Chang and his wife had 10 children; Eng and his wife had 11. 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 three days at each home...
The twins died on the same day in January of 1874. Chang, who had contracted pneumonia, died rather suddenly in his sleep. Eng awoke to find his brother dead, and called for his wife and children to attend to him. A doctor was summoned to perform an emergency separation, but Eng refused to be separated from his dead brother. He died three hours later."