Norton I: The First and Only Emperor of the United States

San Francisco has had it's share of characters over the years, but Joshua Abraham Norton, who proclaimed himself the first Emperor of the United States of America in 1859, might take the cake:

He was a self-proclaimed aristocrat, even going so far as to declare himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, indulging in the sort of monarchy nonsense that the country had spilled blood over less than a hundred years before. Yet in spite of it, when this Emperor finally died in 1880, almost thirty thousand people jammed the streets of San Francisco to attend his funeral. And in 1880, thirty thousand people represented over ten percent of the city’s population.


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by redsfaithful.

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The Sandman issue that featured Emperor Norton I was issue #31, "Three Septembers and a January". It is included in the 6th trade paperback, entitled, "The Sandman: Fables & Reflections". It depicts a wager over the future of Norton, waged between Dream (aka Sandman), and his sister Despair. It ranks near the top of all the stories in the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman.
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