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Re: Emporer Norton I

Poster: AEdric the Grene <AEdric@mindspring.com>

Nordaim wrote:

>         I was wondering if anyone could shed some more light on this
> Norton I.  I've never seen nor heard (until this point) anything about
> him.

This is way OOP, but just because I love Emperor Norton I so much:

On 17 September 1859, in San Francisco, Joshua A. Norton crowned Himself
Emperor of the United States and
Protector of Mexico.  Quoting from his own proclamation of the event: "At
the pre-emptory request 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 nine years and ten months past of San Francisco, California,
declare and proclaim myself the Emperor of These United States." (1)

Emperor Norton I was unquestionably mad.  But, he was mad in the grand
American way of madness, ruling all of the US from his home in San
Francisco for almost 23 years, dying in the city on 8 January 1880, his
funeral being the 10th of that same month.  Between 10000 and 30000 people
are reported as having attended his State funeral which had a cortege more
than two miles long. (2)  He did, as I hinted in my previous post, print
his own money.  They were accepted as equal to US Notes in San Francisco
and many a traveler or tourist purchased such notes from him for a
keepsake.  (A display of some of the Imperial Notes printed over his reign
can be found at http://www.zpub.com/sf/history/nortm3.html.)

In October of 1859, he issued the following Proclamation, abolishing
Congress among other things:  "It is represented to us that the universal
suffrage, as now existing through the Union, is abused; that 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 to by
paying his pro rata of the expense of Government--in consequence of which,
WE do hereby abolish Congress, and it is therefore abolished; and WE order
and desire the representatives of all parties interested to appear at the
Musical Hall of this city on the first of February next, and then and there
take the most effective steps to remedy the evil complained of." (3)

And, my personal favourite from 1872: "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." (4)

He was the greatest Emperor of this Continent.  Kings of the SCA should
well pay heed to his example.

(1) http://www.zpub.com/sf/history/nort.html
(2) http://www.zpub.com/sf/history/nort.html and the newspaper article "Le
Roi Est Mort" as found at


AEdric the Grene

Anglo-Saxon, KnowItAll wannabe, Cider drinker
Arms: Per Pale, sable and vert (or is it vert and sable...)
Legs: 3'6" (or so)

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