(1851–1912). Conjoined African-American twins who became successful performers. Born into slavery in North Carolina, Millie-Christine, as the girls were known, were often referred to as one person, and, indeed, often referred to themselves as such. While still in their infancy they were stolen from their parents, sold three times, kidnapped, and displayed as curiosities at fairs and shows across America. Their ‘owner’, the showman J. P. Smith, first exhibited Millie-Christine as a ‘freak of nature’ to an American public avid for glimpses of this biological phenomenon. At each new venue the girls were forcibly and humiliatingly stripped and examined by physicians to prove to sceptics that the ‘two-headed girl’ was no fraud.
From The Oxford Companion to Black British History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: British History.