Chang and Eng Bunker were born in Siam (now Thailand) of Chinese parents and brought to the United States at the age of 17 by sea captain Abel Coffin in 1829. Over the next decade they toured all over North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America. In 1832, the conjoined twins left Coffin and thereafter managed their own careers as a touring curiosity until they earned enough money to purchase a plantation in North Carolina and retired. They returned to show business briefly in 1860 in partnership with Barnum to earn additional money for their large families. This family portrait from the 1860s shows Chang and Eng with their wives and 18 of their 22 children. It also includes Grace Gates, one of the 33 slaves on their plantation.
Source: Becker Collection of Eisenmann Photographs, Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections.