The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



Filtering by Tag: Mark Twain

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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Rev. Fitzgerald's Recollections

Arriving in San Francisco in 1858, Oscar Penn Fitzgerald (1829-1911) was the founder and sometime preacher at one of the churches that was on Emperor Norton's Sunday rotation. By the time he returned to his native South in 1878, Fitzgerald had become an influential leader in the development of higher education in California. They were twenty years that enabled Fitzgerald to witness firsthand nearly the whole of the Emperor's reign. 

O.P. Fitzgerald's second book of "California Sketches," published in 1881, features one of the most carefully observed and wonderfully drawn portraits of Emperor Norton that we have — exploring, with great empathy, the paradox of an Emperor who carried a Bologna sausage in his hip pocket but whose nobility of mind and bearing were such as to rob his title of any paradox at all.

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The Emperor Championed an Airship Inventor Who Published This Map of San Francisco in 1875

In July 1869, Emperor Norton issued a Proclamation urging his subjects to do everything in their power to advance the steam-powered airship experiments of Frederick Marriott. Six years later, in 1875, Marriott published a beautiful map of San Francisco. 

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