Joshua Abraham Norton was a businessman who went bankrupt after an investment went under . Not one to take that shit lying down, Norton marched into a San Franciscan magazine office and became the greatest nutjob in the citys proud history of nutjobs
During his 21 year reign, Emperor Norton not only declared himself emperor (as well as protector of mexico) he also had the crazy balls to demand that the Us Army disband Congress by force, that both politcal parties be abolished, offered to arbitrate the Civil War and exchanged US dollars for his own imperial currency known as Nortons. thats right, people were willing to trade real money for Nortons fake hobo money, and the really crazy thing is, within San francisco, you could buy things with it.
In addition to his many proclammations and royal documents Norton enjoyed many honors and priveleges during his time as the citys lovable dictator. Many restaurants allowed him to eat for free, and some even invited him to dine in hopes of currying his royal favor. He and his royal court (two dogs named Bummer and Lazurus) were given free reign of the city, with public transport provided to them at no charge. He patrolled the streets in a beaver hat decorated with a peacock feather and a rosette( presumably because few other hats were ridiculous enough to handle the task of holding his thoughts in),and an old army uniform granted to him by the city, in order to make sure the sidewalks remained unobstructed, that the police were on duty, and all city ordinances were obeyed. He was allowed a special chair at the Police precinct which was then know as Nortons Imperial Constabulary, and a place of honor at plays, civic events and parades.