June 11, 2002
7:42 AM   Subscribe

Le Roi Est Mort, declared the newspapers upon his death. A king without a country, Joshua A. Norton declared himself Emperor Norton I of these United States in 1859. Was he a charlatan? A genius? Royalty? Or maybe all three? We may never know. Visit his archives to find out more.
posted by charlesv (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ooooh, if the spot is vacant, I think I shall be the Empress of These United States...and the Protector of Mexico. You may all send tribute at will.

[royal wave]
Touch the pearls, smile at the peasants...
[/royal wave]

But seriously folks...Emperor Norton I was a hoot...it's good historical reading. :)
posted by dejah420 at 7:48 AM on June 11, 2002

neil wrote a fictional account of his amazing life here.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:03 AM on June 11, 2002

posted by NortonDC at 8:19 AM on June 11, 2002

Ah, but NortonDC...are you not the Emperor Norton the 600? Hmmm....wanna split the states with me? I'll take everything south of the Mason Dixon, you take everything north? ;)
posted by dejah420 at 8:46 AM on June 11, 2002

Frank Chu is the closest thing we have to an Emperor Norton today.
posted by ed at 9:27 AM on June 11, 2002

Ah, Frank Chu. You know, if Frank ever prints his own currency, I'll accept it on principle.
posted by majick at 10:01 AM on June 11, 2002

Sorry guys, you can only partition the United States if you have the Emperor Norton Utilities.
posted by wendell at 10:03 AM on June 11, 2002

Thanks, charlesv (charles the fifth? ha.), for the terrific links!
posted by jennak at 10:25 AM on June 11, 2002

The biggest pretend ruler these days would have to be DC delegate EmperorEleanor Holmes Norton, who doesn't even get a vote in Congress. Poor thing.

The true heir to Emperor Norton does not grovel and beg in front of committees.

That is all. Dismissed.
posted by NortonDC at 10:49 AM on June 11, 2002

My pleasure, jennak - and look for a post on Charles the fifth (the Holy Roman Emperor) sometime next week.

If the US ever did break into separate countries, I wonder how it would break down....the East Coast, the South, Texas, and everything West of the Mississippi?
posted by charlesv at 11:50 AM on June 11, 2002

If the US ever did break into separate countries, I wonder how it would break down

The theoretical Republic of Cascadia would require us to go to war with Canada to liberate British Columbia, but it is clearly an idea whose time has come.
posted by kindall at 12:57 PM on June 11, 2002

"...and everything West of the Mississippi?"

Pshaw. Good luck getting Superior California and Inferior California to agree to form one country!

I suspect the breakdown would be much more along the lines of Northwestland, California, Long Beach And Outlying Areas, and 'All That Flat Stuff East of the Rockies.' Hmm. That sort of corresponds to my mental map of the US as it stands now!

In any case, I'm not sure where Mississippi enters into the matter. Isn't that part of that big empty wasteland out in the flat part of the country?
posted by majick at 2:44 PM on June 11, 2002

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