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Emperor Norton's Nuttiness

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Posted 7 years ago


(74 items)

Oh where to begin?

At the Society of California Pioneers there are a few items dedicated to the oft-eccentric Joshua Abraham Norton. For a more detailed description of his life, see the second picture, but here are some highlights.
-While living in San Francisco (though he was born in London), Norton proclaimed himself "Norton I, Emperor of the United States."
-Later he declared himself "Protector of Mexico."
-He took credit for settling the Civil War.
-Despite his apparent delusions, he was treated like royalty by the people of San Francisco, who must have been fascinated by him--he never had to pay for anything wherever he went!

The first print is from somewhere between 1861-65 and is of the funeral of Emperor Norton's dog, Lazarus. In it Norton is dressed as the Pope reading prayers, while his other dog, Bummer, is looking on.

The other display I think about sums up Norton--he is riding a bike looking like a child.

From my recent trip to the Society of California Pioneers...

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