Proclamations for 1870

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EMPEROR NORTON PROJECT:

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April 19, 1870

Norton’s Proclamation.

Emperor Norton issued the following proclamation yesterday: Whereas, We, Norton I,. Dei Gratia, Emperor of North America, &c., being desirous of seeing the Central Pacific Railroad completed by having a good solid double track, and also having it warmed by means of heated pipes, so as to melt the snows during the winter, etc. And, whereas, we are in need of all our funds for this and other affairs of a personal nature. And whereas, the China merchants, Koopmanschap & Co. of San Francisco, have for a long time back kept us out of possession of estate and funds received by them on our account. Now, therefore, we do hereby command the legal constituted authorities of that city to make them give us possession of our said interest, etc., and that on failing to obey this our imperial decree that Mr. Koopmanschap be put in prison until he shall do so. Norton. I. Given at Oakland, this 18th day of April, 1870.


September 3, 1870

Proclamations by the Emperor.

Proclamation.

Understanding that at the closing of the war of 18M, in which Prussia, Italy and Austria were the combatants. Norton I, of California, was proclaimed Dictator of the Peace of Europe by all the Powers thereof, and, whereat, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and one Count Von Bismark, acting for a weak old imbecile, King William, have, in violation of their solemn pledges, engaged in a disastrous and bloody war, now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia Dictator of the Peace, in order to calm down the difficulties and restore tranquility to Europe, do hereby command Spain to demand the Cabana of Louis Napoleon Bona parte and Count Von Bismark, and send their scalps to our wigwam as a war trophy. Off with their heads.

Norton I.

———

Proclamation.

Whereat the war existing between France and Prussia may entail violations of the civilized laws and usages of nations, know all whom it may concern, either French or Prussian, that we will order any person or persons to be tried by the courts and punished by death, who do not adhere strictly to the usages and regulations of war in the present contest.

Norton I.

———

Proclamation.

Let there be peace socially, under penalty of grabbing the first young lady we can get our hands on. We command the ladies to forthwith supply us with an Empress.

Norton I,

Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

August 31st.


September 10, 1870

Proclamations by the Emperor.

On receipt of the intelligence that Louis Napoleon Bonaparte had surrendered to the Prussian King, Norton I telegraphed to King William the following message :

PROCLAMATION.

Norton I desires that you will now gracefully retire your army from the French soil, as otherwise the friends of France will come forward and cause a long and protracted war, and you will be held answerable.

Norton I.

PROCLAMATION.

To His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of China: It was with great sorrow we learned the news that French and English subjects had been massacred in your Empire by your subjects, and my people here are very much incensed at the intelligence, and have demanded, in order that your subjects now in America be properly protected, that your Majesty and Government cause the delivery to those respective Governments of the murderers, and make proper reparation therefor.

Norton I.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, We, Norton I, Del Gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico issued our decree against granting our Imperial sanction to the Mercantile Gift Lottery, and that the money for the tickets already sold should be returned. Know, therefore, all whom it may concern, that do we hereby decree banishment from our realm of all persons who may fail to heed our said command.

Norton I.

Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.


September 17, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, We have been informed that one Phlipmagilder Alamagoozalum Whangdoodlum Larryum Murrayum is engaged plotting with conspirators to usurp our prerogatives and is a traitor to our person and sceptre, and

Whereas, All movements of such nature tend to weaken the stability of our government at home, and cause it to fall into to contempt and ridicule with foreign Nations;

Now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia, Emperor of the United Statea and Protector of Mexico, hereby decree that said Phlipmagilder Alamagoozalum Whangdoodlum Larryam Murrayum be appointed Chief of Police to ex-Emperor Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and that be forthwith leave our realm to fill such appointment.

Norton I.

September 13th, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereat, There is a class of low scum, degrading to humanity, in the habit of calling “BUM” when we enter a theater or hotel, who are evidently put up to the same by some thieving scoundrels or proscriptive traitors. Now, therefore, we do hereby decree that the Police have full authority to place these rascals in the chain-gang to learn better manners.

Norton I.

September 18th, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, One Thomas Mooney, a banker, has disappeared from these parts, and whereas the ” Money” intrusted to him, to be loaned out, has been misappropriated and a number of poor people are victims. Now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia, Emperor of United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby proclaim to all wherein it may oonoern, that all the funds found in his possession in any country that he may take up his residence, are to be sent to the Governor of the State of California for the benefit of his victims and that he be arrested and returned extraditionised, to be dealt according to the laws of raid State.

Norton I.

September 15th, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Understanding that Messrs. Cohen and Stanford have refused to supply our royal prerogative with a free pass, and that they mean fraud to our personal interest in their road; Whereas the public service is greatly impeded, and ourselves much inconvenienced by such treasonable acts being allowed with impunity, now therefore we, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby commission the United States Courts to have those persons arrested and tried for high treason according to law.

Norton I.

Given at Oakland, this 12th day of September, 1870.


The September 17th issue of the Pacific Appeal also included the following bit of local vocabulary:

UNREDEEMABLE bonds-Emperor Norton’s.


September 24, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, Colonel John Scott, of this city, has been accused of plotting against our person, right and dignity, now, therefore, we, Norton I, Die Gratia Emperor of United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby command the Captain of Police to have the said Colonel John Scott arrested, and tried for High Treason, according to law.

Norton I.

Any favor or courtesy shown to General Wm. T. Sherman will confer a favor on Norton I.

The immediate recall of Minister Washburne is hereby ordered, he having exceeded his instructions.

Norton I.

Given at Oakland, this 19th of September, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, Our friends and adherents are dissatisfied that we are not better lodged, and hold that we ought to have had a suitable palace years ago. Whereat, the treasonable prescriptive acts of some of the hotel keepers of this city has kept us out of even decent rooms for our accommodations. So that we have been unable to make our family arrangements in order. Now therefore we do hereby command the the proprietors of the Grand Hotel to forthwith furnish us with rooms, under penalty of being banished.

Norton I.

September 21st, 1870.


October 1, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, The Chronicle of last Sunday in the course of noticing the events which took place on Saturday afternoon and evening at the French Fair, then being held at the Pavilion, to refer to us personally as “San Francisco’s privileged bummer,” and making false representations as to the value of our national scrip, thereby hoping to injure our person and prevent the sale of said scrip.

Now, therefore, we issue this decree to correct the erroneous impression which the Chronicle thereby sought to create. Our script sold for $150 premium, which the purchaser generously donated to the Fair, the par value of which has already been received by our bankers in Paris, so stated. As to the Chronicle calling us names, we would deem this attack too contemptible and beneath our notice, if it were not for the proscriptive policy of the press, with few honorable exceptions, which is undermining our government. The “proprietors of the should not throw stones.” During the whole course of our administration of the national affairs we never received the same treatment as they have at the hands of Messrs. Freidlander, Ralston and others.

The poetry in the Figaro last week, was a forgery.

Norton I.

September 30th, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

The music in front of the City Hall, being a nuisance to the Board of Supervisors during the hours of session is, hereby prohibited under the penalty of closing the Bella Union Theater for whose benefit it is performed.

Norton I.

September 21st, 1870.


October 8, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

Understanding that in case our Minister Plenipotentiary, with a Chinese Mandarin, shall be sent to the Imperial Court at Pekin, we will be enabled to obtain suitable indemnification for the French massacre at Tien-Tsin; now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor Of the United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby demand the French and English governments to restrain (torn hostilities until they shall have sent us a fleet to send over our Minister to secure proper reparation.

Norton I.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas the fine specimen of naval architecture, the Van Dieman, is now undergoing repairs at Main Street Wharf; we hereby issue our decree prohibiting its commander from going to sea until she shall be inspected by us, which will be on Sunday, the 9th instant.

Norton I.


It became common for advertisers to adopt the style of Emperor Norton’s proclamations for commercial purposes and sometimes the Emperor responded. For example, the following advertisement appeared in some of the Bay Area papers late in October, 1870:

THE EMPEROR ALARMED

Whereas, I, Norton I., Emperor of all the Visionary Isles, High Cockalorum of Lordnozawhat, and Lieutenant-General of the Peripatetics Brigade of San Fsanoieoo. having been ingeniously entrapped, by schemes diverse, into reading a sensational article which appeared in various California papers, do, under my imperial hand and seal, promulgate the following:

Proclamation to All My Subjects.— I desire and command each and every man, woman, child and pig-tailed Chinaman to instantly (on receipt of this my proclamation) procure and peruse a copy of the deceitful article hereinbefore referred to; and when they shall have patiently cogitated thereon, and understood how their most Imperial Majesty was tricked, duped and fooled, I command my most loyal subjects to attend an indignation meeting— at which I, Norton tub First, will preside—on Friday evening, at 8 o’clock, on the Plaza of San Francisco, to devise means for the suppression of the New York Weekly, in No. 6O of which journal originated the story of “Who Owned the Jewels?”— the perusal of which has made your thrice illustrious Emperor the laughing stock of nations. Given under my hand and seal this 19th day of October, 1870.

NORTON THE FIRST,

Emperor of the Visionary Isles, etc.

Emperor Norton then responded with a proclamation regarding such practices:


November 5, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

It is evident to every one that the writer of the article published as an advertisement for the New York Weekly, which appeared in the daily papers about a week ago, under the signature of “Norton I.” is a fit subject for an Indigent Asylum; and, whereas, papers who pretend to be respectable and publish forged documents, knowing them to be such, must pay for aiding to ridicule our royal prerogatives; now, therefore, we, Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, do hereby decree that all papers wherein such forged article was published be fined 150 each, the same to be paid to the Managers of the Catholic and Protestant Orphan Asylums of this city. Notice.—The proprietors of the New York Weekly can procure our royal signature in commendation of any of their beautiful stories by paying the royal fee.

Norton I.

San Francisco, Nov. 4, 1870.


November 26, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

By telegraph to the Czar and Government of Russia.–I, Emperor Norton I, protest against your adopting a course which will embroil all Europe in war in the present convulsed state of affairs. That it is our intention to pay Europe a visit so soon as my imperial family affairs will permit, and endeavor to calm all impending troubles.

Norton I.

San Francisco, Nov. 18, 1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Complaints having been made to us that the amusing pastime of “garroting” is being carried on entirely too lively on Brenham Place and other localities, this is to give notice to the Police Commissioners that unless immediate attention is paid to stopping said amusement, we shall be compelled to order their immediate removal.

Norton I.

San Francisco, Nov. 18,1870.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, The two last seasons were far from prosperous and abundant from the want of sufficient rains; and whereas, we are anxious that the present ensuing season should be good, now, therefore, we Norton I, Dei Gratia Emperor, do hereby command the ministers of the churches to offer up prayers to the Almighty God of the Universe, that the coming season may be blessed with abundant rain to irrigate the earth in its due season.

Norton I.

San Francisco. Nov, 23, 1870.


December 3, 1870

Statesmanship.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, Our telegraphic dispatches are tampered with, and messages of a public nature are frequently abbreviated by others, and Whereas, such kind of proceeding injure our Imperial authority. Now, therefore, we Norton I Dei Gratia, Emperor, do hereby command our friends and adherents to make all the operators take the oath of allegiance to the Imperial authority.

Norton I.

San Francisco, Nov. 30, 1870.

 


Sources:

  1. “Proclamation,” Oakland Daily Transcript 5 no. 16 (April 19, 1870): 3.
  2. “Proclamations by the Emperor,” Pacific Appeal, 7 no. 4 (September 3, 1870): 1.
  3. “Proclamations of the Emperor,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 5 (September 10, 1870): 1.
  4. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 6 (September 17, 1870): 1.
  5. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 7 (September 24, 1870): 1.
  6. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 8 (October 1, 1870): 1.
  7. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 9 (October 8, 1870): 1.
  8. “The Emperor Alarmed,” San Francisco Chronicle, 12 no 82 (October 20, 1870): 3.
  9. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 13 (November 5, 1870): 1.
  10. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 16 (November 26, 1870): 1.
  11. “Statesmanship,” Pacific Appeal 7 no. 17, (December 3, 1870): 1.
  12. “The King’s Jester,” Daily Alta California 22 no. 7567 (December 9, 1870): . [second-hand account]

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About Shawn P. Wilbur 2246 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.