EMPEROR NORTON - LIVE LIKE HIM
> EMPEROR NORTON - LIVE LIKE HIM <
Joshua Norton, or as he preferred to be called, Norton I, proclaimed himself
Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in 1859.
Although a pauper, he was fed free in San Francisco's best restaurants.
Although a madman, he had all his state proclamations published in San
While rational reformers elsewhere failed to crack the national bank monopoly
with alternate currency plans, Norton I had his own private currency accepted
throughout San Francisco.
When the Vigilantes decided to have a pogrom against the Chinese, and sane men
would have tried to stop them, Norton I did nothing but stand in the street,
head bowed, praying. The Vigilantes dispersed.
"When the proper man does nothing (wu-wei), his thought
is felt ten thousand miles."
-- Lao Tse
Although a fool, Norton I wrote letters which were seriously considered by
Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria.
"You must take the bull by the tail and look
the facts in the face."
-- W.C. Fields
Although a charlatan, Norton I was so beloved that 30,000 people turned out
for his funeral in 1880.
"Everybody understands Mickey Mouse.
Few understand Hermann Hesse.
Hardly anybody understands Einstein.
And nobody understands Emperor Norton."
-- Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.
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