The Saturday Evening Post History Minute: The Real Story Behind America’s Emperor

We share the remarkable story of Emperor Norton — a man who claimed to be the ruler of the United States in the 1800s — and the equally remarkable tale of the city that showed him affection and respect.

Bearded man wearing a miltary uniform and hat similar to Napoleon rides a bicycle.

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We share the remarkable story of Emperor Norton — a man who claimed to be the ruler of the United States in the 1800s — and the equally remarkable tale of the city that showed him affection and respect.

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Comments

  1. I love the Post and the articles,but I do not enjoy reading them from the internet. It is so much better to be able to sit down in a comfortable chair and take my time enjoying the stories I guess I will be missing lots of articles.

  2. This is another really interesting American history story that needs to be told, and you’ve done a wonderful job by the way. He was obviously a very smart man to have amassed the fortune he did in just four years. A quarter million in the 1800’s would be many millions adjusted for today’s (nearly worthless) dollar value.

    I’m sure his attempt to corner the rice market was well thought out and executed, knowing it was a gamble; doing his best to make the plan ‘unsinkable’, but lost it all, including his mind. But did he really, after all? I don’t think so.

    I think his re-inventing himself as an Emperor with all of the trappings, allowed him to do all the wonderful work he did for (then) present-day San Francisco during the mid-late 1800s; and lit the match for what would be the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937, 57 years after his death.

    In addition, he was a man that was kind, well liked, respected because he was a decent man, wanting what was best for the common good and succeeded in doing so. Hopefully this city (I’ve never been there) has monuments and all kinds of honors for Norton I to keep his memory alive. He deserves it

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