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The Forgotten Emperor of the USA

December 15, 2010

You were saner than most, Joshua

Some folks ask, How do I get people to take me seriously?

Here is one answer:

He was a self-proclaimed aristocrat, even going so far as to declare himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, indulging in the sort of monarchy nonsense that the country had spilled blood over less than a hundred years before. Yet in spite of it, when this Emperor finally died in 1880, almost thirty thousand people jammed the streets of San Francisco to attend his funeral. And in 1880, thirty thousand people represented over ten percent of the city’s population.

Exactly when Joshua Abraham Norton was born is a subject of some dispute. Various records and testimonies place his year of birth anywhere between 1814 and 1819, and his obituary cited his age as “about sixty-five.” Regardless of when he was born, it is known that Norton was born in London but spent most of his early life in South Africa.

Thats Right…

Declaring yourself emperor will get you places.

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