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Secretarial Letter
Spring Place GA / New Echota GA. 28 April 1839. First. One page secretarial letter, folded for self-mailing, to William Oliver of Elberton, Georgia from "Chang and Eng Siamese Twins," dated April 28, 1839. Dampstains, lower quarter detached at fold (not affecting any text), torn at the secretarial name, a good plus example. The twins inquire after the health of their dog: "Sir, We are anxious to hear of our poor old Dog & should feel very much obliged by your informing us of his fate -- whether he is dead or alive & if alive whether you think he will recover. Yours very respectfully, C Harris for Chang & Eng Siamese Twins." Born in 1811 in what is now Thailand, the twins came to America in 1829 and caused such a sensation that "Siamese" became the popular term for all conjoined twins. Although they left their home country essentially as slaves to a British promoter, the twins were astute businessmen and were able to get the better of P.T. Barnum and manage their own careers so that, in 1839, the year of this letter, the twins became US citizens, purchased 1000 acres of farm land in South Carolina, and went into semi-retirement. In 1843 they married sisters from a nearby town and took the surname Bunker. They eventually fathered 21 children and toured occasionally until their deaths in 1874. Literature about the twins abounds, but primary documents relating to their lives, particularly their personal lives, is quite scarce. .
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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