Proclamations for 1876-1879



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January 31, 1876

Centennial Proclamation.

Emperor Norton Decrees Half Fares, and Prohibits Local Celebrations.

In accordance with the gracious request of His American Majesty Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, we herewith publish His Majesty’s proclamation decreeing certain regulations touching the proper observation of the forthcoming celebration of the hundredth anniversary of American Independence. The proclamation will be telegraphed to all the principal centers of business and population in the Eastern State this afternoon. Following is the


In order that public attention may not be diverted from the National Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, we, Emperor Norton I., Die gracia Emperor, do hereby prohibit any exhibition of a like nature in any other portion of the United States during the Exhibition at Philadelphia. And we do also hereby order and decree that all railroads, steamships, steamboats, and all other public conveyances and line of travel shall charge only half fare to and from the said city of Philadelphia during the continuance of said National Exhibition.

Norton I.

Given under our hand, at Oakland, California, this 31st day of January, 1876.

March 18, 1876

University Matters.


Last Wednesday the students enjoyed the honor of a visit from Emperor Norton. His Highness has heard with dissatisfaction of the measures of the present legislature in regard to this institution, and thought it best to make a personal investigation. He was received with the due honor by his obedient subjects who reside at Berkeley and escorted through the buildings and neighboring grounds. Everything met with the approval of the distinguished guest, who expressed himself strongly against any changes in the management of affairs and declared he should by no means give his consent to them. Before leaving, he was induced to issue the following proclamation, which was duly posted on the official bulletin board:

Whereas, It has been represented to the Emperor that the actions of Mr. Richardson, otherwise named Tutor Dick, have not obtained the respect of his pupils, now, therefore, we, Norton I, dei gratia, Emperor, do hereby command his removal.

Norton I.

March 27, 1876

The Chinese Question.

Emperor Norton has issued the following proclamation:

Whereas, The opinion of the Emperor is that at least five millions of the Chinese will be imported before there will be a national objection to this class of immigration; and,

Whereas, Certain portions of the laboring classes are greatly excited and enraged against them; and in order to allay the feeling; we do hereby announce that it is our intention to send forth a fleet as soon as circumstances permit, to pay a visit to the Emperor of China, of whom we shall demand such rectifications of the objectionable portions of the “Burlingame Treaty” as will meet the emergencies of the case.

(Signed) Norton I.

Emperor of the United State and Protectorate of Mexico.

May 8, 1876

Centennial Proclamation.

Whereas, The revolutionary movements in Mexico are dangerous to the Mexican nation and their Territory in these troublesome times. Now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor of United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby order the amend of all Rebels against the President’s Government, as it is our intention to give Mexico a new Constitution to be ratified by their Congress.

Norton I.

Given at Oakland, Cal., this 15th day of May, 1876.

Spanish paper please copy.

May 15, 1876

Proclamation–Down with Rebels.

Whereas, It is currently reported that the American people are determined on a better style of government; and, whereas, we cannot afford any further loss of time, if our authority is needed to force the changes; know, therefore, all whom it may concern, that we do hereby command our loyal subjects to forthwith make arrangements for our proceeding to the Centennial, in a style becoming our dignity, that we may there accomplish the said object.

Norton I.

Emperor of the U. S. and Protector of Mexico.

May 29, 1876


Ladies. Attention!

The Emperor presents his compliments the ladies and desires that they declare who is to be Empress. Norton I, as he has to proceed to Washington to proclaim the new Constitution, desires his lady to accompany him.


Although it is not permitted a soldier to mourn the loss of his comrade, still he may be forgiven in sheding a tear over the grave of his departed friend, whether of the gray or the blue in conmemoration of the past.

Norton I.

June 5, 1876


Whereas, Every now and then some person says, suppress hoodlumism at picnics. Emperor, it is disgraceful; no respectable person can enjoy themselves; the picnic of yesterday ended in a hoodlum riot. Know, therefore, that that class of people, that if they persist in continuing their outrages that a decree will go forth which will wipe them out of existence.

The Emperor congratulates the country on the success of the lightning train, and demands a regular express train as soon as possible as it will be ultimately valuable.

The Emperor regrets to hear of the death of the Sultan and recommends his successor to radically reform Church and State if he desires to see daylight and preserve the integrity of his Empire.

Norton I.

June 12, 1876

Board of Supervisors.

A proclamation was read from Emperor Norton I, ordering the United States army to arrest and bring to punishment the Healdsburg lynchers. Placed on file.

Also petition from the august Emperor, requests an appropriation, from the funds now due him, sufficient to take him to Washington by the Fourth of July. Placed on file.

June 22, 1876



Emperor Norton commands as to set forth his Serene Highness’ behest, as declared in the following, in the columns of the JOURNAL, which, of coarse, we hasten to do. It seems a little late to catch the Cincinnati boys, but it will effectually squelch the St. Louis subjects:

Whereas, It is our determination to either have a new Constitution or a Code of Laws of Norton I.,

Now, therefore, We, Norton I., Dei Gracia Emperor U. S. and Protector of Mexico, do hereby prohibit either the Republican or Democratic parties from making any nomination until the new Constitution shall have been proclaimed.

Norton I.

June 26, 1876

Board of Supervisors.

The minutes of the last meeting were read, corrected by striking out the reference to Emperor Norton’s petition, and approved.

June 29, 1876

Centennial Proclamation.

In consequence of the failure of officials to come to time, the Emperor is unable to be in Washington on the Fourth as intended. To all greeting, equal justice to all, and no fighting about it and insure peace, prosperity and happiness.

Norton I.

Die Gratia, Emperor of U. S. and Protector of Mexico.

Philadelphia Ledger copy.

August 1, 1876


Whereas, We are informed that Mr. Shattuck, one of the member of the Board of Supervisors, has unfairly influenced the City Council from doing their duty to the Emperor. Now, therefore, we, Norton I, Die Gratia Emperor United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby command the Attorney-General to indict him and have him punished for Rebellion to the National cause.

Norton I.

August 3, 1876


Whereas, The California Theatre of San Francisco has been for a long time back in rebellion to the Emperor and is very unpleasant to professionals and the Emperor by such action. Now, therefore, we, Norton I, Die Graten, do hereby order their gas light to be turned off and bring them to terms.

Norton I.

August 8, 1876


Whereas—Being desirous of ameliorating, as far as possible, the evil of small-pox, We, Norton I, Die Gratia Emperor, do hereby command all persons, without regard to color or previous condition of servitude, to be forthwith baptized.

Norton I.

April 10, 1878

Emperor Norton to the Rescue.


San Francisco, April 9th.—The Kearney movement is at last effectually squelched. Emperor Norton issued the following proclamation to-day: Proclamation: Whereas, the Sunday afternoon sand lot meetings are a disgrace to the Queen City of the Pacific, they are hereby prohited under penalty of banishment of the leaders, etc.


Norton I.

July 23, 1879

The last pronunciamento of Emperor Norton is as follows:

Whereas, It is absolutely necessary for the safety and preservation of this nation that this government shall cease for the present from making citizens; and

Whereas, Also, in order to obtain a pure and enlightened vote we, Norton I., Die Gratia Emperor United States and protector of Mexico, hereby prohibit the granting of naturalization paper for ten years to come, and longer if necessary.

Given under our royal hand and seal this 14th day of July, 1879.

Norton I.

Joshua Abraham Norton, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, &c., died January 8, 1880.


  1. “Centennial Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 8 no. 586 (January 31, 1876): 3.
  2. “University Matters,” Daily Evening Post (San Francisco ) 9 no. 89 (March 18, 1876): 1.
  3. “The Chinese Question,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 633 (March 27, 1876): 3.
  4. “Centennial Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 669 (May 8, 1876): 3.
  5. “Proclamation—Down with Rebels,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 675 (May 15, 1876): 3.
  6. “Proclamation. (Ladies. Attention! Decoration Day),” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 687 (May 29, 1876): 3.
  7. “Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 693 (June 5, 1876): 3.
  8. “Board of Supervisors,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 698 (June 12, 1876): 3. [mention of proclamation]
  9. “Proclamation,” Marin County Journal, 16 no. 15 (June 22, 1876):
  10. “Board of Supervisors,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 698 (June 26, 1876): 3. [striking of proclamation from minutes]
  11. “Centennial Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 698 (June 29, 1876): 3.
  12. “Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 674 (August 1, 1876): 3.
  13. “Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 676 (August 3, 1876): 3.
  14. “Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Evening Tribune, 9 no. 680 (August 8, 1876): 3.
  15. “Proclamation,” Marin County Journal, 16 no. 15 (June 22, 1876): 2.
  16. “Emperor Norton to the Rescue,” Los Angeles Daily Herald 9 no. 114 (April 10, 1878): 3.
  17. [“The last pronunciamento…”], Petaluma Courier 3 no. 43 (July 23, 1879): 2.


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.