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Frank S. Chanfrau

CHANFRAU, Frank S., actor, born in New York, 22 February, 1824; died in Jersey City, 2 October, 1884. His father was a French officer in the vessel that brought Lafayette to the United States. He enjoyed but few educational advantages. At an early age he attempted to earn a livelihood as a hatter, subsequently was employed as a ship-builder at Cleveland, and helped to build the first steamboat that ever left that port. Returning to New York, he lived precariously for a year or two, and during this period his talent as a mimic became first known, and put him in the way that ultimately led to fortune. His first theatre engagement was as a supernumerary at the old Bowery theatre; subsequently he became utility-man at the same place, and after some years played second juvenile parts at the old Park theatre, and in 1848 was engaged as leading comedian at Mitchell's Olympic theatre. He gained great popularity as a comic actor at this house, his impersonation of Mose the fireman in Benjamin Baker's play, "A Glance at New York," being regarded as inimitable. Chan-frau's success as Mose made him rich. On 20 September, 1849, he first appeared in the Arch street theatre, Philadelphia, and soon afterward he provided Brooklyn with a theatre; but the undertaking did not succeed, and, after sinking $22,000 in the venture, he accepted an invitation from Charles R. Thorne to sail for California. After a most successful tour there he returned to New York and added Thomas born de Walden's Sam to his repertory, and during the winter of 1870 appeared in the leading part in "Kit, the Arkansas Traveller," a play written by Edward Spencer, and then produced for the first time. As Kit Redding, Chan-frau achieved his most signal success. In this r61e he exhibited all his gifts and attainments to the best advantage, and though the character of his acting was never elevated, it was invariably amusing and never hurtful. He was a generous and noble-minded man, correct in his habits, and a model husband, father, and son. He died worth about $300,000, having considerable property at Long Branch, New Jersey, which he had made his residence for nineteen years.--His wife, Henrietta Baker, actress, born in Philadelphia in 1837, made her debut during the summer of 1854 at the assembly buildings, Philadelphia, under the management of Prof. Mueller, as a vocalist. Her first appearance on the boards of a regular theatre was at the City museum in her native place, 9 September, 1854, as Miss Apsley in "The Willow Copse." A short time afterward she became a member of the Arch street theatre, where she remained nearly two seasons. When the National at Cincinnati was opened by Lewis Baker for the season 1857-'8, she became a member of the company and achieved success. She married Mr. Chanfrau in July, 1858. After a long absence from New York, in the autumn of 1886 she appeared at the reopening of the Fourteenth street theatre as Linda Colmore in "The Scapegoat." Her acting is entirely free from affectation or mannerisms.and ENG, Siamese twins, born in Banga-seau, Siam, 15 April, 1811; died near Mount Airy, North Carolina, 17 January, 1874. Their father was Chinese and their mother Chino-Siamese. They came to the United States in 1829, and were exhibited here and in Europe for nearly twenty-five years. Having accumulated a fortune of about $80,000, they settled as farmers in North Carolina, and at the age of forty-four o1: forty-five married two sisters, by whom they had children (Chang six and Eng five), of whom eight, with the two widows, survived them. Two of the children were deaf and dumb; the rest had no malformation or infirmity. They lost a part of their property, which consisted partially of slaves, by the war, and were very bitter in their denunciation of the government in consequence. After the war they again resorted to public exhibitions, but were not very successful. Their lives were embittered by their own quarrels and the bickering of their wives; and they returned home, with their tempers much soured and their spirits depressed, after a decision by the most eminent European surgeons that the severing of the band (which both desired) would prove fatal. Notwithstanding this, they always maintained a high character for integrity and fair dealing, and were much esteemed by their neighbors. In 1870 Chang had a paralytic stroke, and was subsequently weak and ill, while Eng's health was much improved. Chang died first, probably of cerebral clot, during the night; and when Eng awoke and found his brother dead, his fright and the consequent nervous shock, acting upon an enfeebled heart, produced a syncope, which resulted fatally two hours and a half after Chang's death. Their bodies were taken to Philadelphia and carefully examined by eminent physicians. The connection of the two was by a fleshy and partly cartilaginous band extending from the xiphoid region of the sternum down to a point below the umbilicus of each. There had been but a single umbilical cord attached to the middle of the under side of this band, and while the band (which was eight or nine inches in length, about eight in circumference, and two and a half in diameter--its upper or outer surface being convex, and the under or inner concave) was cartilaginous and nearly insensible except at its median point, there was evidently some inter-communica-tion through it to the viscera of both. The breastbones were so nearly joined that they were naturally face to face, and could never have occupied the position of back to back. It was then found that there were no direct blood-vessels or nerves connecting either the circulation of the blood or the nervous fluid through both bodies, but that the perito-n~eum or membrane covering the bowels was extended in two pouches from the abdomen of Chang passing through the band into the abdomen of Eng, and that one similar pouch from the peri-tomeum of Eng passed through the band lying between the two from Chang, into the abdomen of Chang. These pouches contained small blood-vessels coming from the livers of each (which were in both close to the cord), and these blood-vessels were covered with a thin layer of genuine liver-tissue. A separation or division of the cord would therefore have been almost certainly fatal to both. The twins differed considerably in size and strength as well as in disposition, Chang being considerably the larger and stronger, but also the more irritable and intemperate.

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