The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



Filtering by Tag: Kearny Street

Emperor Norton at Madame Pique's

In his original Proclamation of 17 September 1859, Emperor Norton summonsed “the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of February next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.”

Alas, Musical Hall was destroyed in a fire on 23 January 1860 — just a week before the appointed date.

The Emperor quickly rescheduled his meeting, issuing a Proclamation on January 28th revising the date and the venue to “the 5th day of February next, in Assembly Hall, on Kearny street, of this city.”

This is the secret history of the would-be site of Emperor Norton’s national convention of February 1860 — and of the woman who gave the building its original name.

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The Eastern Approach to the Imperial Palace

Two newly discovered photographs show new glimpses of the eastern end of the block of Commercial Street where Emperor Norton lived — as it was just after he moved there. The photos are from 1865 and 1866. The Emperor had moved to the block in late 1862 or early 1863. Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain worked on this block — next door to the palace, in fact — in the summer of 1864.

These views would have been very familiar to both gentlemen.

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