Chang and Eng Bunker

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Chang and Eng Bunker (c. 1811–1874) were known as the original "Siamese twins." Born in modern Thailand, they began touring the United States and Europe in 1829. After learning English and achieving fame, they settled in a rural community in 1839.


  • Visitor: I beg pardon, gentlemen, for calling you boys—but really that is the title by which you are generally considered is it not?
    Chang and Eng: Never in England—in this country sometimes.
    Visitor: But why not England?
    Chang: Boy is a boy there—a servant boy—cook boy—school boy—
    Eng: And a young gentleman is a young gentleman.
    Visitor: Well, I am glad you have set me right in this matter—my mistake was of the head, not of the heart.
    Chang: Oh yes, I dare say—people don't think when they speak of the Siamese twins that they are young men twenty years of age.
    Eng: Suppose you call a young gentleman of you acquaintance, boy—won't he resent the insult?
    Visitor: True—true—and why should not the Siamese young gentlemen resent such an epithet?
    • New York Constellation; reprinted in the Macon Telgraph (May 7, 1831)
  • You swear you fraid o' me; you fraid I kill you, shoot you—at same time you know I have guns—you see I shoot you if I choose—nd you keep round me—you wont let me go away—you call me and my mother hard name—and yet you swear you fraid I kill you. Now, suppose I see a man in my country, in Siam—he goes out into wood, and sees a lion asleep—he say, "Oh! I fraid that lion kill me"—what I think of that man if he go up and give that lion a kick and say get out you ugly beast? I wish you'd answer me that.
    • Daily National Intelligencer (August 22, 1831)
    • On firing a blank at Massachusetts men who had neared while the twins hunted game

Quotes about Chang and Eng Bunker[edit]

  • You are all a set of impostors and pickpockets. You are a grand set of rascals.
    • A doctor from Alabama. In: Harris, Charles, "The Siamese Twins, from the Florence Gazette," Morning Chronicle (December 24, 1833)
    • The doctor sought to closely examine the brothers, though they did not permit him or any other physicians (Orser, p. 61)
  • The lady's is a sorry case,
    And really must dishearten her;
    Why did you creep into her grace?
    For you could not want a partner

    Already you'd your other half;
    Why long, then, for three quarters?
    Oh, Chang, you are too bad by half,
    For any Yankee's daughters.

    Yet should the lady take Eng too,
    How sweet were your community;
    And how astonished eyes would view
    Your Trinity in Unity.
    • Ramble, Rueben. In: "A Word or Two with Chang, the Siamese Twin," London Dispatch (March 12, 1837)

References and external links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
  • Orser, Joseph Andrew (2014), The Lives of Chang & Eng: Siam's Twins in Nineteenth-Century America, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-1-4696-1830-2