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Millie Christine

The Life and Legal Battles of the Carolina Twins

Millie Christine McCoy were conjoined twins born into slavery in Whiteville, North Carolina. Known as “The Carolina Twins” and the “Two-Headed Nightingale,” the enslaved twins were exhibited before the Civil War as circus and sideshow attractions in parts of the United States and Europe. This exhibition examines the complexities of freedom, profit, slavery, and family in the 19th century.

In this exhibit, we refer to the twins as Millie Christine, as they often identified themselves, and acknowledge them as two people.

Although we speak of ourselves in the plural we feel as but one person . . . although we bear the names Millie and Christina, one thing is certain, we would not wish to be severed, even if science could effect a separation. We are contented with our lot and are happy as the day is long. We have but one heart, one feeling in common, one desire, one purpose.

Millie Christine McCoy, "The History of the Carolina Twins"

The Carolina Twins

Born enslaved in 1851, Millie Christine McCoy came of age during a time of intense political and social tension. They were nearly 10 years old at the start of the Civil War, and young teenagers when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Images of a carte-de-visite photograph of conjoined twins Millie and Christine McCoy.

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