unc logo

Collection Number: 03761

Collection Title: Chang and Eng Bunker Papers, 1832-1874, 1933-1967, 1998

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 130 items)
Abstract Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese twins, married sisters Sarah and Adelaide Yates in 1843 and established homes and families in Wilkes County and later Surry County, N.C. The collection includes correspondence, bills, and receipts, including slave bills of sale, of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker relating to their North Carolina property, planting interests, family matters, and arrangements for exhibition tours. Also included are an account book, 1833-1839, showing income from public appearances and itinerary; clippings; photographs; articles about the twins by Worth B. Daniels and Jonathan Daniels and related material; and Joined at Birth, a 1998 videotape about the twins that was made by Advanced Medical Productions of Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Discovery Channel. The Addition of November 2011 is a ledger with entries presumably penned by Chang and Eng's business manager Charles Harris detailing the business-related and personal expenses of Chang and Eng during exhibition tours of Cuba, Europe, and the United States and for a period after they settled in North Carolina in 1839.
Creator Bunker, Chang, 1811-1874.



Bunker, Eng, 1811-1874.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of video materials may required production of viewing copies.
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Chang and Eng Bunker Papers #3761, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (1975) available.
  • Reel 1: Folder 1 (account book, 3 July 1833-June 1839)
Digitized versions of selected materials from this collection plus additional Chang and Eng Bunker materials from other sources.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Joffre P. Bunker of Mount Airy, N.C., in 1966 and 1967; from Worth B. Daniels of Washington, D.C., in 1974; from Advanced Medical Productions of Chapel Hill, N.C., in March 1999 (Acc. 98326), and transferred from the North Carolina Collection Gallery from a donation by A. Milton Haynes, Raleigh, N.C., in November 2011 (Acc. 101616).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), the original Siamese twins, were born in Meklong, Siam, and were brought from Bangkok to Boston in 1829. After extensive tours in North America and Europe, they settled in Wilkes County (later Surry County), N.C., were naturalized, and received the surname Bunker by act of the legislature.

In 1843, Chang and Eng Bunker married Sarah and Adelaide Yates, daughters of David Yates of Wilkes County, N.C. Chang had ten children; Eng had nine children. They continued to make exhibition tours until about 1870.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, bills, and receipts, including slave bills of sale, of Siamese twins Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker relating to their North Carolina property, planting interests, family matters, and arrangements for exhibition tours. Also included are a ledger, 1832-circa 1841, with entries detailing the business-related and personal expenses of Chang and Eng during exhibition tours and while they were settled in North Carolina; an account book, 1833-1839, showing income from public appearances and itinerary; clippings; photographs; articles about the twins by Worth B. Daniels and Jonathan Daniels and related material; and Joined at Birth, a 1998 videotape about the twins that was made by Advanced Medical Productions of Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Discovery Channel.

The Addition of November 2011 is a ledger with entries presumably penned by Chang and Eng's business manager Charles Harris detailing the business-related and personal expenses of Chang and Eng during exhibition tours of Cuba, Europe, and the United States and for a period after they settled in North Carolina in 1839.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998.

About 130 items.
Folder 1

Account book, 3 July 1833-June 1839 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 1

Record of amounts received by Chang and Eng, with date and place of each amount. The record shows appearances in many cities and towns in the eastern United States; Canada; France and Belgium, 1835-1836; and Cuba, 1835. The account book documents long runs in New York (Peale's Museum) and Philadelphia and the twins' appearances in North Carolina in October 1834 and May-July 1839.

Folder 2

Papers, 1840-1854 and undated #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 2

Letters; bills and receipts; incomplete copy or draft of a proposed contract for public appearances in 1849 to be managed by Edmund H. Doty of New York; and several items relating to the settlement of the estate of David Yates of Wilkes County, N.C., of which Eng was administrator. Included are bills of sale for slaves purchased and other financial items about the twins' interests in Wilkes County and Surry County, N.C. Letters were written by Robert S. Gilmer and Elisha Banner at Mount Airy, N.C., concerning the twins' business and farming interests and giving news of home, crops, and neighborhood; by R. D. Martin of Philadelphia, 1848, requesting a letter of credit and mentioning Tom Thumb; by Edmund H. Doty about a contract, 1849; by William Rawley, 30 April 1849, giving the twins news of their homes and families; by Bunker & Co. of New York, 2 February 1850, including an account of merchandise being shipped to Raleigh by way of Petersburg; by P. A. Browne, 1850, requesting locks of hair for study; and by Chang and Eng Bunker, 19 March 1854, to their wives and children with news of themselves and of Kate and Chris, the children who were accompanying them.

Folder 3

Papers, 1855-1874 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 3

Letters, bills, and receipts. Letters include one, 10 December 1860, from Eng Bunker and child James in San Francisco to Eng's wife and children in Surry County, giving instructions about things at home and telling of their trip from New York; one, 17 October 1861, from William Soyars in the 50th Virginia Regiment, naming friends who were ill or dead; three, 1866, 1867, and 1870, from C-- M-- Bunker at Mount Airy, N.C., to her father, giving him news of family, home, and neighborhood; one from Robert S. Gilmer at Mount Airy to Chang and Eng concerning land purchased for them and other business and news of home; and a photocopy of a letter, 29 January 1874, to the widows of Chang and Eng, inquiring about purchasing the twins' body.

Folder 4

Clippings #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 4

Nine clippings, including one broadside advertising an appearance of the Siamese Twins. One clippings is dated as late as 1939, but most clippings are undated.

Folder 5

"The Siamese Twins: Some observations on their life, last illness, and autopsy," by Worth B. Daniels, M.D., 1961 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 5

Typescript of paper read to several medical groups in 1961 and 1962 and submitted for publication. (Offprint of article in the Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Vol 73, 1961/1962, p. lvii-lxv, was received from Daniels and transferred to the North Carolina Collection.)

Folder 6

Worth Daniels's bibliography and notes #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 6

Folder 7

Worth Daniels's correspondence, 1961-1965 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 7

Correspondence in connection with preparation of article on Chang and Eng Bunker, includes correspondence with Jonathan Daniels, Joffre Bunker, librarians, curators, and others.

Folder 8

Worth Daniels's copies of source materials #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 8

Typed copy of James W. Hale's Account, published in 1830; photocopies of letters, 19 January 1874 and 1 April 1874.

Folder 9

Worth Daniels's clippings, 1933-1967 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 9

Folder 10

Article by Jonathan Daniels for American Heritage, 1962. #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." Folder 10

Oversize Paper Folder OP-3761/1

Posters advertising appearances by the Siamese Twins #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." OP-3761/1

Image Folder P-3761/1-2

P-3761/1

P-3761/2

Photographs of the twins, their relatives, and the houses where they lived. #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." P-3761/1-2

Image Folder P-3761/3

Autopsy photographs. #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." P-3761/3

Videotape VT-3761/1

"Joined at Birth." Videotape, 1998 #03761, Series: "Papers, 1833-1874, 1933-1967, 1998." VT-3761/1

Made for the Discovery Channel by Advanced Medical Productions of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of November 2012: Ledger, 1932-1841.

1 item.
Folder 11

Ledger, 1832-circa 1841 #03761, Series: "Addition of November 2012: Ledger, 1932-1841." Folder 11

Entries presumably penned by Chang and Eng's business manager Charles Harris detailing the business-related and personal expenses of Chang and Eng during exhibition tours of Cuba, Europe, and the United States and for a period after they settled in North Carolina in 1839. (Formerly North Carolina Collection Gallery number: CK.413.2.)

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Southern Historical Collection Staff, 1960s-1990s

Encoded by: Linda Sellars, September 1999

Updated because of addition by Jackie Dean, June 2012.

Back to Top