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Encyclopedia > Joshua A. Norton
Joshua Abraham Norton

Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
Born c. 1819
England[1]
Died January 8, 1880
San Francisco, California, U.S.

Joshua Abraham Norton (c. 1819[2]January 8, 1880), also known as His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California who proclaimed himself "Emperor of these United States"[3] and later "Protector of Mexico" in 1859.[4] Born in London, Norton spent most of his early life in South Africa; he emigrated to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest of $40,000 from his father's estate. Norton initially made a living as a businessman, but he lost his fortune investing in Peruvian rice.[5] Photo of Emperor Norton I. Since he died in 1880, and this was taken before that point, I assume it is public domain. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Imperial Majesty (HIM) is a style used by the Emperors and Empresses. ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... An emperor is a (male) monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... A businessman (sometimes businesswoman, female; or businessperson, gender neutral) is a generic term for a wide range of people engaged in profit-oriented enterprises, generally the management of a company. ... For other uses, see Rice (disambiguation). ...


After losing a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, Norton left San Francisco. He returned a few years later an eccentric and apparently mentally unbalanced man, claiming to be the emperor of the United States.[6] Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented. In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Though he was considered insane, or at least highly eccentric,[7] the citizens of San Francisco celebrated his regal presence and his proclamations, most famously, his "order" that the United States Congress be dissolved by force (which Congress and the U.S. Army ignored) and his numerous decrees calling for a bridge and a tunnel to be built across San Francisco Bay.[8] On January 8, 1880, Norton collapsed at a street corner, and died before he could be given medical treatment. The following day, nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage to Norton.[9] Norton's legacy has been immortalized in the literature of writers like Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson who based characters on him. In December 2004, a resolution was made to name the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in honor of Norton, but the idea did not progress further.[10] Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Golden Gate San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean. ... is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. ... Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13, 1850–December 3, 1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. ... The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ( ; known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a toll bridge which spans San Francisco Bay and links the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco in the United States, as part of Interstate 80. ...

Contents

Early life

Norton was born in England, but scholarly works vary as to the date and exact town of his birth. His obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle, "following the best information obtainable," cited the silver plate on his coffin which said he was "aged about 65",[11] suggesting that 1814 could be the year of his birth. Other sources claim that he was born on February 4, 1819 in London.[12] Immigration records indicate that he was two years old in 1820 when his parents moved to South Africa.[13] South African genealogies suggest that his father was John Norton (d. August 1848) and his mother was Sarah Norden.[14] Sarah was the daughter of Abraham Norden and sister of Benjamin Norden, a successful Jewish merchant.[12] For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Norton emigrated from South Africa to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest of $40,000 from his father's estate.[9] He enjoyed a good deal of success in the real estate market and accumulated a fortune of $250,000 by 1852.[12] Norton thought he saw a business opportunity when China, facing a severe famine, placed a ban on the export of rice, causing the price of rice in San Francisco to skyrocket from four cents per pound to thirty-six cents per pound (9 cents/kg to 79 cents/kg).[9] When he heard that the Glyde, which was returning from Peru, was carrying 200,000 pounds (100 net tons) of rice, he bought all of the rice for $25,000, hoping to corner the rice market.[9] On December 22, 1852, he put down two thousand dollars and signed a contract to pay the remainder of the $25,000 within thirty days.[9] “San Francisco” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Rice (disambiguation). ... Look up ton in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... December 22 is the 356th day of the year (357th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


One day later, several shiploads of rice from Peru came into San Francisco harbor. As a result, the price of rice plummeted to three cents a pound. Norton tried to void the contract, stating that the dealer had misled him as to the quality of rice to expect.[9] From 1853 to 1857, Norton and the rice dealers were involved in extensive litigation. Although Norton prevailed in the lower courts, the case reached the Supreme Court of California, which ruled against Norton.[15] Later on, the Lucas Turner and Company Bank foreclosed on his real estate holdings in North Beach to pay Norton's debt.[9] Norton's mental state was severely affected by these financial setbacks. He declared bankruptcy in 1858 and left the city for a time. There are no known documents noting that Norton had an eccentric personality prior to the loss of his fortune, so it is not known whether his pronounced eccentricity was a permanent aspect of his character or arose as a result of the stressful financial straits he found himself in during the 1850s. Nonetheless, after his sudden loss of financial stability, Norton became (in the absence of a proper diagnosis) somewhat "odd", exhibiting the symptoms often referred to as "delusions of grandeur."[8] Justices of the Supreme Court of California (circa May 2005). ... Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration—see text) in the United Kingdom. ...


Imperial career

Norton in full regalia
Norton in full regalia

When Norton returned to San Francisco from his self-imposed exile, he had become completely disgruntled with what he considered the vicissitudes and inadequacies of the legal and political structures of the United States. On September 17, 1859, he took matters into his own hands and distributed letters to the various newspapers in the city, proclaiming himself "Emperor of these United States": Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (866 × 1312 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (866 × 1312 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Exile (band) may refer to: Exile - The American country music band Exile - The Japanese pop music band Category: ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.
NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.[12][16]

Norton would later add "Protector of Mexico" to this title. Thus commenced his unprecedented and whimsical twenty-one-year "reign" over America.


In accordance with his self-appointed role of emperor, Norton issued numerous decrees on matters of the state. After assuming absolute control over the country, he saw no further need for a legislature, and on October 12, 1859, he issued a decree that formally "dissolved" the United States Congress. In the decree, Norton observed: is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...

...fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled.[17]

As a result, Norton ordered that all interested parties gather at Platt's Music Hall in San Francisco in February 1860 so as to "remedy the evil complained of".[18]


In another imperial decree a month earlier, Norton summoned the army to depose the elected officials of the U.S. Congress:

WHEREAS, a body of men calling themselves the National Congress are now in session in Washington City, in violation of our Imperial edict of the 12th of October last, declaring the said Congress abolished;
WHEREAS, it is necessary for the repose of our Empire that the said decree should be strictly complied with;
NOW, THEREFORE, we do hereby Order and Direct Major-General Scott, the Command-in-Chief of our Armies, immediately upon receipt of this, our Decree, to proceed with a suitable force and clear the Halls of Congress.[19] For other uses of Winfield Scott, see Winfield Scott (disambiguation). ...

Norton's orders obviously had no effect on the army, and the Congress likewise continued in its activities unperturbed. Norton issued further decrees in 1860 that purported to dissolve the republic and to forbid the assembly of any members of the Congress.[18] Norton's battle against the elected leaders of America was to persist throughout what he considered his reign, though it appears that Norton eventually, if somewhat grudgingly, accepted that Congress would continue to exist without his permission, although this did not change his feelings on the matter. In the hopes of resolving the many disputes between citizens of the United States during the Civil War, Norton issued a mandate in 1862 ordering both the Protestant and Roman Catholic Church churches to publicly ordain him as Emperor.[12] Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. ... “Catholic Church” redirects here. ...


His attempts to overthrow the elected government of America by force having been utterly ignored, Norton turned his attention and his proclamations to other matters, both political and social. On August 12, 1869, "being desirous of allaying the dissensions of party strife now existing within our realm", he abolished both the Democratic and Republican parties.[4] The failure to refer to Norton's adopted home city with appropriate respect was the subject of a particularly stern edict in 1872: is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...

Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word "Frisco", which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty-five dollars.[20]

For all of his quirks and regardless of the precise nature of his psychological condition, it cannot be denied that Norton was, on some occasions, a visionary, and a number of his "Imperial Decrees" exhibited a profound foresight. Among his many edicts were instructions to form a League of Nations,[21] and he explicitly forbade any form of discord or conflict between religions or their sects. The Emperor also saw fit on a number of occasions to decree the construction of a suspension bridge or tunnel connecting Oakland and San Francisco, his later decrees becoming increasingly irritated at the lack of prompt obedience being exhibited by the authorities: The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–1920. ... “Oakland” redirects here. ...

WHEREAS, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project; and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore, we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees.
Given under our royal hand and seal at San Francisco, this 17th day of September, 1872.[22] Aerial photo of Treasure Island (top) and Yerba Buena Island (bottom). ...

This suggestion, unlike Norton's others, actually came to fruition, but not because of him; construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge began on July 9, 1933 and was completed on November 12, 1936.[23] The Bay Area Rapid Transit's Transbay Tube was completed in 1969 and opened in 1972.[24] The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ( ; known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a toll bridge which spans San Francisco Bay and links the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco in the United States, as part of Interstate 80. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... A westbound BART train with aerodynamic design A car in downtown San Francisco. ... The Transbay Tube is the part of BART which runs under San Francisco Bay in California and is the longest underwater tube for rapid transit in the world. ...


Life as emperor

Norton dressed as the Pope at the funeral of the itinerant dog Lazarus.
Norton dressed as the Pope at the funeral of the itinerant dog Lazarus.[25]

Norton spent his days as emperor inspecting the streets of San Francisco in an elaborate blue uniform with tarnished gold-plated epaulets, given to him by officers of the United States Army post at the Presidio of San Francisco. He also wore a beaver hat decorated with a peacock feather and a rosette.[26] He frequently enhanced this regal posture with a cane or an umbrella. During his inspections, Norton would examine the condition of the sidewalks and cable cars, the state of repair of public property, and the appearance of police officers.[27] Norton would also frequently give lengthy philosophical expositions on a variety of topics to anyone within earshot at the time. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope (from Latin... Look up itinerant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Three Bummers. ... A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organisation whilst participating in that organisations activity. ... Emperor Norton regularly strolled the streets of San Francisco in an elaborate blue uniform complete with tarnished gold-plated epaulettes. ... The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... The Parade Grounds at the Presidio of San Francisco. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Speciues Pavo cristatus Pavo muticus The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. ... Speciues Pavo cristatus Pavo muticus The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. ... Rosettes can refer for: A small, circular, device that can be awarded with medals (see: Rosette (decoration)). A type of plant with their leaves at an upset stem in a typical form. ... Look up cane in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the umbrella or parasol. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Cable Car in San Francisco A San Francisco cable car Winding drums on the London and Blackwall cable-operated railway, 1840. ... Public property is land which is owned by a local government, and is accessible to everybody. ... For other uses, see Police (disambiguation). ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ...


It was during one of his inspections that Norton is reputed to have performed one of his most famous acts of "diplomacy." During the 1860s and 1870s, there were a number of anti-Chinese demonstrations in the poorer districts of San Francisco. Ugly riots, some resulting in fatalities, broke out on several occasions. During one such incident, Norton allegedly positioned himself between the rioters and their Chinese targets, and with a bowed head started reciting the Lord's Prayer repeatedly until the rioters dispersed without incident.[27] Teamsters, armed with pipes, riot in a clash with riot police in the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934. ... The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch. ...


Norton was much loved and revered by the citizens of San Francisco. Although penniless, he regularly ate at the finest restaurants in San Francisco; these restaurateurs then took it upon themselves to add brass plaques in their entrances declaring "[b]y Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I of the United States."[28] By all accounts, such "Imperial seals of approval" were much prized and a substantial boost to trade. Supposedly, no play or musical performance in San Francisco would dare to open without reserving balcony seats for Norton.[9] For other uses, see Brass (disambiguation). ...


A popular rumor started by the devoted Norton caricaturist Ed Jump holds that he had two dogs, Bummer and Lazarus, who were themselves notable San Francisco celebrities at the time.[29] Although he did not own the dogs, Norton ate at free lunch counters where he provided the dogs with a few morsels of food.[5] The Three Bummers. ...

A ten dollar note issued by the Imperial Government of Norton I.
A ten dollar note issued by the Imperial Government of Norton I.

In 1867, a police officer named Armand Barbier arrested Norton for the purpose of committing him to involuntary treatment for a mental disorder.[3] The arrest outraged the citizens of San Francisco and sparked a number of scathing editorials in the newspapers. Police Chief Patrick Crowley speedily rectified matters by ordering Norton released and issuing a formal apology on behalf of the police force.[9] Chief Crowley observed of the self-styled monarch "that he had shed no blood; robbed no one; and despoiled no country; which is more than can be said of his fellows in that line."[12] Norton was magnanimous enough to grant an "Imperial Pardon" to the errant young police officer. Possibly as a result of this scandal, all police officers of San Francisco thereafter saluted Norton as he passed in the street.[27] Image File history File links Nort10d. ... Image File history File links Nort10d. ... For other uses, see Arrest (disambiguation). ... A mental disorder or mental illness is a clinically significant psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture. ... An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization (generally a newspaper) that expresses an opinion rather than attempting to simply report news. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Norton did receive some small tokens of formal recognition for his self-claimed position: the 1870 U.S. census records a Joshua Norton residing at 624 Commercial Street and lists his occupation as "Emperor."[4][30] Norton would also issue his own money on occasion in order to pay for certain debts, and this became an accepted local currency in San Francisco. Typically these notes came in denominations ranging anywhere from fifty cents to five dollars; the few notes still extant are collector's items. The city of San Francisco also honored Norton. When his uniform began to look shabby, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, with a great deal of ceremony, bought him a suitably regal replacement. In return, Norton sent them a gracious note of thanks and issued a "patent of nobility in perpetuity" for each supervisor.[31] Image:1870 census Lindauer Weber 01. ... In economics, a local currency, in its common usage, is a currency not backed by a national government (and not legal tender), and intended to trade only in a small area. ... A collectors item is an object or item of any kind that has become valuable -- often unexpectedly. ... San Francisco skyline. ...


Later years and death

During the later years of Norton's "reign," he was the subject of considerable rumor and speculation. One popular story suggested that he was the son of Emperor Louis Napoleon and that his claim of coming from South Africa was a ruse to prevent persecution.[11][32] Another popular story suggested that Norton was planning to marry Queen Victoria.[3] While this claim is unsupported, Norton did write to the queen on several occasions and he is reported to have met the real Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.[12] Norton was also rumored to be supremely wealthy — only affecting poverty because he was miserly. This article is about the President of the French Republic and Emperor of the French. ... “Queen Victoria” redirects here. ... Dom Pedro II (pron. ...


A number of decrees that were probably fraudulent were submitted and duly printed in local newspapers, and it is believed that in at least a few cases, newspaper editors themselves drafted fictitious edicts to suit their own agendas.[9] The Museum of the City of San Francisco maintains a list of the decrees believed to be genuine.[4] The Museum of the City of San Francisco operated by the San Francisco Historical Society currently has exhibits at Pier 45 and San Francisco City Hall. ...

Norton is now buried in his second grave in Colma, California.

On the evening of January 8, 1880, Norton collapsed on the corner of California Street and Dupont Street (now Grant Avenue) in front of Old St. Mary's Church while on his way to a lecture at the California Academy of Sciences.[9] His collapse was immediately noticed and "the police officer on the beat hastened for a carriage to convey him to the City Receiving Hospital."[33] Norton died before a carriage could arrive. The following day the San Francisco Chronicle published his obituary on its front page under the headline "Le Roi est Mort" ("The King is Dead").[33] In a tone tinged with sadness, the article respectfully reported that, "[o]n the reeking pavement, in the darkness of a moon-less night under the dripping rain..., Norton I, by the grace of God, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, departed this life".[33] The Morning Call, another leading San Francisco newspaper, published a front-page article using an almost identical sentence as a headline: "Norton the First, by the grace of God Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico, departed this life."[4] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (640x819, 159 KB)The Emperor is buried next to Jose Sarria, the self-proclaimed Widow Norton, at Woodlawn Cemetary in Colma, CA. This photo was taken on July 4th, 2006. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (640x819, 159 KB)The Emperor is buried next to Jose Sarria, the self-proclaimed Widow Norton, at Woodlawn Cemetary in Colma, CA. This photo was taken on July 4th, 2006. ... Colma is a small town in San Mateo County, California, at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula next to Daly City and South San Francisco. ... is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The California Academy of Sciences is one of the ten largest natural history museums in the world. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ...


It quickly became evident that, contrary to the rumors, Norton had died in complete poverty. Five or six dollars in small change had been found on his person, and a search of his room at the boarding house on Commercial Street turned up a single sovereign, worth around $2.50; his collection of walking sticks; his rather battered saber; a variety of hats (including a stovepipe, a derby, a red-laced Army cap, and another cap suited to a martial band-master); an 1828 French franc; and a handful of the Imperial bonds he sold to tourists at a fictitious 7% interest.[9][34] There were fake telegrams purporting to be from Emperor Alexander II of Russia, congratulating Norton on his forthcoming marriage to Queen Victoria, and from the President of France, predicting that such a union would be disastrous to world peace. Also found were his letters to Queen Victoria and 98 shares of stock in a defunct gold mine.[35] Alexander (Aleksandr) II Nikolaevich (Russian: Александр II Николаевич) (Moscow, 29 April 1818 – 13 March 1881 in St. ... “Queen Victoria” redirects here. ... Gold mining consists of the processes and techniques employed in the removal of gold from the ground. ...


Initial funeral arrangements included a pauper's coffin of simple redwood. However, members of the Pacific Club (a San Franciscan businessman's association) established a funeral fund that paid for a handsome rosewood casket and arranged a suitably dignified farewell.[12] For people named Coffin, see Coffin (surname). ... Binomial name Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. ... Rosewood refers to a number of richly hued timbers, brownish with darker veining. ... An open coffin A coffin is a box used for the display and burial or cremation of a dead human body. ...


Norton's funeral was a solemn, mournful and large affair. Respects were paid "...by all classes from capitalists to the pauper, the clergyman to the pickpocket, well-dressed ladies and those whose garb and bearing hinted of the social outcast."[11] Some accounts report that as many as 30,000 people lined the streets to pay homage, and that the funeral cortege was two miles long. He was buried at the Masonic Cemetery, at the expense of the City of San Francisco.[9] “Freemasons” redirects here. ...


In 1934, Norton's remains were transferred, at the expense of the City of San Francisco, to a grave site of moderate splendor at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Colma. The site is marked by a small worn stone marked with "Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico".[36] Colma is a small town in San Mateo County, California, at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula next to Daly City and South San Francisco. ...


Posthumous recognition

See also: Emperor Norton in popular culture
Artist's concept of the replacement span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; a proposal to name it after Norton I was rejected by Oakland City Council.
Artist's concept of the replacement span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; a proposal to name it after Norton I was rejected by Oakland City Council.

Although details of Norton's life story may have been forgotten, he was immortalized in literature. Mark Twain, who was resident in San Francisco during part of "Emperor Norton's reign," modeled the character of the King in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after Norton.[7] Joshua Abraham Norton (ca. ... San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span, 378x195 pixels - excerpt from page with original planned replacement construction. ... San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span, 378x195 pixels - excerpt from page with original planned replacement construction. ... The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ( ; known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a toll bridge which spans San Francisco Bay and links the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco in the United States, as part of Interstate 80. ... Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. ... Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) by Mark Twain is commonly accounted as one of the first Great American Novels. ...


Robert Louis Stevenson made Norton a character in his 1892 novel, The Wrecker. Stevenson's stepdaughter, Isobel Field, wrote about Norton in her autobiography entitled This Life I've Loved. She wrote that Norton "was a gentle and kindly man, and fortunately found himself in the friendliest and most sentimental city in the world, the idea being 'let him be emperor if he wants to.' San Francisco played the game with him."[9] Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13, 1850–December 3, 1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. ...


Over the years Norton's eccentricity has been a continuing source of inspiration: he appears as a patron saint in the parody religion of Discordianism,[37] and makes numerous appearances in popular culture. Discordianism is a modern, chaos-centered religion founded circa 1958–1959 by Malaclypse the Younger with the publication of its principal text, the Principia Discordia. ... Joshua Abraham Norton (ca. ...


In January 1980, numerous ceremonies were conducted in San Francisco to honor the 100th anniversary of the passing of the one and only "Emperor of the United States."[4] Norton's proclamations promoting a bridge between San Francisco and Oakland were commemorated on December 14, 2004, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution calling for the new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to be named after Norton. The proposal, however, needed the approval of the City of Oakland and then state authorities before it could be ratified. The members of the Oakland City Council expressed disapproval of the proposal, and no progress was made on the resolution afterwards.[38] is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ( ; known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a toll bridge which spans San Francisco Bay and links the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco in the United States, as part of Interstate 80. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Sources dispute over Norton's birthplace. Most sources agree that England was his birthplace, and some pinpoint the exact location to London, while others state different locations.
  2. ^ There are a number of disputed claims regarding Norton's date of birth. Many sources (Cowan, Norton's tombstone, and most present-day books on Norton) pinpoint Norton being born sometime in 1819, while a few sources state that he was born on February 4, 1819. Norton's obituary by the San Francisco Chronicle put him at 65 years old at the time of his death, which would mean he was born sometime 1814. Drury's Norton I, Emperor of the United States (1986) refers to immigration records which said Norton was two years old in 1820 when his parents moved to South Africa.
  3. ^ a b c Fred Smith (January 31, 2002). Emperor Joshua Norton I of America. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hansen, Gladys (1995). San Francisco Almanac. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811808416. 
  5. ^ a b Carr, Patricia E. (1975 July). "Emperor Norton I: The benevolent dictator beloved and honored by San Franciscans to this day". American History Illustrated 10: 14-20. 
  6. ^ Weeks, David; Jamie James (1996). Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness. New York: Kodansha Globe-, p3-4. ISBN 1568-36156-4. 
  7. ^ a b New Perspectives on the West: Joshua Abraham Norton. PBS (2001). Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  8. ^ a b Suzanne Herel. "Emperor Norton's name may yet span the bay", 2004-12-15. Retrieved on 2007-04-17. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Peter Moylan. Encyclopedia of San Francisco: Emperor Norton. San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  10. ^ Rubenstein, Steve, Jim Herron Zamora. "'No offense to the emperor, but I don't know who he is'", San Francisco Chronicle, December 16, 2004. Retrieved on 2006-09-19. 
  11. ^ a b c "Le Roi Est Mort", San Francisco Chronicle, 1880-01-11. Retrieved on 2006-09-19. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Cowan, Robert (October, 1923). "Norton I Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico (Joshua A. Norton, 1819-1880)". Quarterly of the California Historical Society. Retrieved on 2006-09-18. 
  13. ^ Drury, William (1986). Norton I, Emperor of the United States. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc.. ISBN 0-396-08509-1. 
  14. ^ Dakers, Hazel (Summer 1999). "To Colindale to Picture the Lives of My South African Ancestors". Newspaper Library News (26). Retrieved on 2007-06-26. 
  15. ^ Ruiz v. Norton, 4 Cal. 355 (1854).
  16. ^ Joe, Oesterle; Mike Marinacci, Mark Moran, Mark Sceurman, Greg Bishop (2006). Weird California: Your Travel Guide to California's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling Publishing, p102. ISBN 1-4027-3384-4. 
  17. ^ Joel Gazis-Sax (1998). He abolishes Congress. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  18. ^ a b Joel Gazis-Sax (1998). The Proclamations of Norton I. Retrieved on 2007-04-25.
  19. ^ Joel Gazis-Sax (1998). He calls on the Army. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  20. ^ Joel Gazis-Sax (1998). He Bans the F-Word. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  21. ^ Mencken, Henry Louis; George Jean Nathan (1951). The American Mercury, p499. 
  22. ^ Joel Gazis-Sax (1998). Emperor Norton's Archives: He Calls for a Bridge (Again). Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  23. ^ Dannhausen, William O. (1931). Better Roads, p58. 
  24. ^ BART - History and Facts, System Facts. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  25. ^ The Funeral of Lazarus. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco (2004-07-24). Retrieved on 2006-09-15.
  26. ^ Two Bay Area Bridges - The Golden Gate and San Fransisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Federal Highway Administration (2005-01-18). Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  27. ^ a b c Moran, Mark; Mark Sceurman (2005). Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide To America's Local Legends And Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling Publishing, p153. ISBN 0-7607-5043-2. 
  28. ^ Sinclair, Mick (2004). San Francisco: A Cultural and Literary History. Oxford, England: Signal Books, p20. ISBN 1-902669-65-7. 
  29. ^ Malcolm E. Barker. Bummer and Lazarus. Encyclopedia of San Francisco. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  30. ^ Transcription of census records page
  31. ^ Gorman, Michael R. (1998). The Empress Is a Man: Stories from the Life of Jose Sarria. Binghampton, New York: The Haworth Press, Inc., p8. ISBN 0-7890-0259-0. 
  32. ^ To have been an illegitimate son of Louis Napoleon, he would have had to have been conceived when the French Emperor was only three; Louis Napoleon's actual son, Napoléon Eugène, Prince Imperial, died fighting in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.
  33. ^ a b c "Le Roi Est Mort", San Francisco Chronicle, January 9, 1880. Retrieved on 2006-09-19. 
  34. ^ Joel Gazis-Sax (1997). The Madness of Joshua Norton. Retrieved on 2007-06-13.
  35. ^ Asbury, Herbert (2002). The Barbary Coast. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, p231. ISBN 1-56025-408-4. 
  36. ^ "Emperor Reburied", Time, July 9, 1934. Retrieved on 2007-07-09. 
  37. ^ Metzger, Richard (2003). Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult. New York: The Disinformation Company, 158. ISBN 0-9713942-7-X. 
  38. ^ Vigil, Delfin. "A gay court pays homage to its queer emperor", San Francisco Chronicle, 2005-02-21. Retrieved on 2007-06-26. 

This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Chronicle Books is a San Francisco-based American publisher of books for adults and children. ... “PBS” redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 115th day of the year (116th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... A westbound BART train with aerodynamic design A car in downtown San Francisco. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the President of the French Republic and Emperor of the French. ... Napoléon Eugène Louis John Joseph, called Napoleon IV, (March 16, 1856 – June 1, 1879), Prince Imperial, Fils de France, was the only child of Emperor Napoleon III of France and his Empress consort Eugénie de Montijo. ... Combatants United Kingdom Zulu Nation Commanders Sir Bartle Frere, Frederick Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford Cetshwayo Strength 14,800 (6,400 Europeans 8,400 Natal Troops) 40,000 Casualties 1,727 killed, 256 wounded 8,250+ killed, 3,000+ wounded The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the... 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Barker, Malcom, E.; Jump, Edward (January, 2001). Bummer & Lazarus: San Francisco's Famous Dogs : Revised With New Stories, New Photographs, and New Introduction. San Francisco: Londonborn Publications. ISBN 0-930235-07-X. 
  • Cech, John (1997). A rush of dreamers : being the remarkable story of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. New York: Marlowe. ISBN 1-56924-775-7. 
  • Cowan, Robert Ernest. "Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico (Joshua A. Norton, 1819-1880)" in Quarterly of the California Historical Society. San Francisco: California Historical Society, October 1923.
  • Cowan, Robert E. et al. The Forgotten Characters of Old San Francisco. Los Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1964.
  • Dressler, Albert (1927). Emperor Norton, life and experiences of a notable character in San Francisco, 1849-1880. San Francisco: A. Dressler. LC CT275.N75 D7. 
  • Drury, William (1986). Norton I, Emperor of the United States. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-396-08509-1. 
  • Kramer, William M. (1974). Emperor Norton of San Francisco : a look at the life and death and strange burials of the most famous eccentric of gold rush California. Santa Monica, California: Norton B. Stern. ASIN B0006CF3KO. 
  • Lane, Allen Stanley (1939). Emperor Norton, Mad Monarch of America. Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton printers, Ltd. ASIN B00086ATPC. 
  • Ryder, David Warren (1939). San Francisco's Emperor Norton. San Francisco: Alex. Dulfer Printing and Lithographing Co. LC CT275.N75 R9. 

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Joshua A. Norton
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Persondata
NAME Norton, Joshua A.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Norton, Joshua; Emperor Norton
SHORT DESCRIPTION Self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States
DATE OF BIRTH ca. 1819
PLACE OF BIRTH England
DATE OF DEATH January 8, 1880
PLACE OF DEATH San Francisco

For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ...


 
 

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