The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

to honor the life + advance the legacy of Emperor Norton


Launched in 2013 to carry forward the call of that summer's petition to name the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton — who set out the original vision for the Bay Bridge in 1872 — The Emperor's Bridge Campaign quickly saw that the larger need was for an organization with a broader mission of research, education and advocacy designed to honor the life and advance the full legacy of the Emperor. 

In October 2014, the Campaign became a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.

Even as we remain "on task" in the bridge-naming effort — this project now is positioned as something more like a "campaign within the Campaign" — we are building out a larger vision that includes the following goals for the Campaign:

1 >>> Develop the fullest, most accurate historical portrait of Emperor Norton, including:

(a) Highlight those aspects of the Emperor's story that typically don't make it into the popular version of him as a lovable kook, including his far-sighted public calls

  • against political corruption and corporate fraud; 
  • for fair and equal treatment of African-Americans, Chinese, Native Americans and women;
  • against religious sectarianism and for the separation of church and state; and 
  • for fair labor standards.

(b) Conduct and present original research focusing on under-explored aspects of Emperor Norton's story.

(c) Fact-check and, when necessary, challenge undocumented assertions about the Emperor.

2 >>> Become the recognized digital clearinghouse of primary and secondary source material on the Emperor;

3 >>> Maintain a complete record of art, music, theater and other creative efforts that have been inspired by the Emperor; and

4 >>> Nurture public conversations about the meaning or, as the case may be, meanings of Emperor Norton that have been adopted and celebrated in the generations since his death.

Ultimately, the Campaign aims to become the leading public resource on Emperor Norton.

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To find out more about where The Emperor's Bridge Campaign has been — and where we're headed...

To keep up with the latest from the Campaign and learn how to become involved...

Look forward to hearing from you — and seeing you in the mix!

© 2017 The Emperor's Bridge Campaign  |  Site design by Polished  |  Background: Detail from image courtesy of Eric Fischer