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Have you heard about the Emperor of United States? The self-proclaimed Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California, who in 1859 proclaimed himself “Emperor of these United States and subsequently “Protector of Mexico”? Many of you are thinking that this is some kind of a hilarious joke heard over and over through your family. Lame in the sense that America being the most powerful country in the entire universe is known of having known Presidents and Political Parties. But before you ever judge or laugh about it let me tell you his story. Joshua Abraham Norton’s birth was never determined or discovered. Majority of the scholars knew that it was on 1819 the time when Spain ceded Florida to the United States in exchange of $5 million  and the American renunciation of any claims on Texas, OH!Let’s stop with all these geeky things!

He eventually died on January 8, 1880 approximately 61 years of living. Born in England, Norton spent most of his early life in South Africa. He immigrated to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest of $40,000 from his father’s estate. After years of business he flew back to San Francisco, mentally unbalanced and claims himself being THE Emperor of the America!

It was Emperor Norton with his free download PDF who put up the first public Christmas tree in America.

In 1849 gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. Tens of thousands of people from around the world set out to find their fortunes in northern California. One man, an English businessman named Joshua Norton, arrived by ship and became a successful trader. He became so successful in fact, that he became one of the wealthiest men in the city… until he got greedy. He attempted to corner the rice market and ended up losing everything, including a bit of his sanity.

Norton became a vagrant wandering the streets. But nothing could keep his spirits down for long, especially in a place like San Francisco. He soon became one of the most beloved eccentrics in the city’s history.

In 1859 Joshua Norton declared himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States! Because of this he got tons of Freebies and luxury during his time even though he is known to be insane in the sense. He got this during his time:

  • He ate free at ALL restaurants
  • He created his own money which was hilariously accepted in all cities in the States
  • He has his own opera box, actually given to him
  • He rode free on city cars
  • His uniform/costumes was given and provided by the city
  • He commanded a bridge be built across the bay

Because of Emperor Norton there’s been a Christmas tree in San Francisco’s Union Square every year since.

If you don’t know about Emperor Norton, it’s time you did!
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