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    • Shawn Fox

      Millie and Christine McCoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins born into slavery. They and their mother were sold to a showman, Joseph Smith. Smith and his wife educated the girls; they eventually could speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. They were known as the "Two-Headed Nightingale." In the 1880s they retired and purchased a small farm. Millie died of tuberculosis at age 61, with Christine following hours later. They remain one of the oldest-lived set of conjoined twins.

    • Carla Sarratt

      Millie and Christine McCoy, conjoined twins, circa 1880

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    Millie and Christine McCoy, conjoined twins, 1880

    Conjoined twins Millie and Christine McCoy

    Millie and Christine McKoy were born, joined at the base of the spine, on July 11, 1851, the eighth and ninth child of Monimia and Jacob McKay, slaves owned by a blacksmith in the small town of Welches Creek, North Carolina (pictured in the 1890s) . They died on October 8, 1912 living until the ripe old age of 61, them the oldest female conjoined twins to date.

    1880s photo conjoined Twins Millie & Christine McCoy

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    ca. 1860-1890, [portrait of Millie and Christine McKoy, conjoined twins, billed as “Millie-Christine, the Two-Headed Nightingale”] via the British Museum, Africa, Oceania & the Americas Department

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