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Norton I / American Royal

Norton I  /  American Royal


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Norton I / American Royal

JOSHUA " EMPEROR" NORTON I Claimant to the imperial throne of North America (1859); he made a fortune in real-estate speculation

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 617533

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10084043

1819 1859 Claimant Estate Fortune Impostor Joshua Mad Man Norton Real Speculation Throne Made


EDITORS COMMENTS
This photograph captures Joshua Norton I, an American original who boldly proclaimed himself as the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in 1859. Born in England in 1819, Norton immigrated to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush, where he made a fortune in real-estate speculation. However, after suffering significant financial losses, he declared himself Emperor in a public proclamation. Despite his madness or imposture, Norton's claim to the imperial throne gained widespread popularity, and he was treated as a monarch by many San Franciscans. Norton I issued currency, held court, and even had his own seal. He was a frequent visitor to the city's finest hotels and restaurants, where he was often entertained with great fanfare. This photograph, taken around 1880, captures Norton I in his imperial regalia, complete with a golden crown and a scepter. His regal bearing and intense gaze convey a sense of authority and determination, despite the absurdity of his situation. Norton I's reign may have been short-lived, but his legend endures as a testament to the human spirit and the power of imagination. This historical image, from the extensive collection of Mary Evans Picture Library, offers a unique glimpse into the life of this remarkable character, who continues to fascinate scholars and historians alike. Norton I's story is a reminder that even in the most unlikely of circumstances, one can claim the throne and rule with the power of the mind.

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