Emperor Joshua Norton

Emperor Joshua Norton

In 1859, an insane homeless man from San Francisco named Joshua Norton proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States and the people of San Francisco actually went along with it. He was widely beloved, treated with great deference, and the currency he created himself was honored at the establishments he frequented. Due to (technically) being a poor homeless man, when he died he was going to be buried in a pauper's redwood coffin and not given much ceremony. But he was so beloved and honored by the locals that the San Francisco businessmen's association formed a funeral fund that eventually got enough money for a massive procession and an expensive rosewood casket for his burial. 10,000 people went to his funeral.

Previous Fact Next Fact
Categories: HistoryPeople