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Emperor Norton | The Greatest American Emperor
Episode 1922nd November 2021 • Reddit On Wiki • Cultiv8 Podcast Network
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This week's episode is a wild historic tale of America's greatest and only Emperor! From riches to rags Emperor Norton lived the American dream and his weird and wild quirkiness won over the country!

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Resources:

Emperor Norton - Wikipedia

Norton I, Emperor of the United States (sfmuseum.org)

Emperor Norton: Life & Legend | The Emperor Norton Trust

America's Emperor, San Francisco's Treasure: Who Was Emperor Norton? | KQED

Emperor Norton - FoundSF

Norton I Declared Himself Emperor of the United States, and His Subjects Loved It (thedailybeast.com)

Image used: https://twitter.com/empnortontrust/status/1242522282834178054

Transcripts

Episode 19- Emperor Norton

[:

[00:00:18] John: same P Diddy, Sean, John, I'm doing all right.

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[00:00:29] Josh: I hear you're bringing back the found dead next year. Super excited for that. Do you want to tell the wicked maniacs about.

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[00:00:52] So if you don't know, if you haven't heard yet, it's about two dudes. One of my good friends and my brother, Patrick, actually people think we're actually [00:01:00] related, but we're not racist. We find the funny ways that people. You know, that's strange and borderline comical. It'll leave you dumbfounded. Goddamn. I still remember the hook, but we're bringing it back January 20, 22.

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[00:01:19] Sean: content.

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[00:01:35] John: The formula is working

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[00:01:40] Sean: It sells

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[00:02:00] Sean: bank accounts, empty credit cards, maxed stress.

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[00:02:22] Josh: it goes off smooth.

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[00:02:32] Sean: definitely not now.

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[00:02:40] Sean: our screens,

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[00:02:47] Sean: no.

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[00:02:50] Josh: Oh, he met. Oh my goodness. Well, that's lovely. I'm happy for you guys. And you'll, you'll have a few weeks off from this podcast anyway, so it might just be John and I for a [00:03:00] bit. Yeah, but that's exciting. That's exciting. Well, we can maniacs, if you would like to help pay for Sean's wedding or just help us with the podcast

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[00:03:13] Josh: you can help support us on patrion.com/read it on Wiki.

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[00:03:30] Sean: Also, Martin Shaun's by registry is Zola doc

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[00:03:38] John: case. When it comes to early episodes, it's not seven days. It's six

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[00:03:50] Sean: talked about. When exactly what early means. All right. I thought we were just posting it a week

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[00:04:02] If he gets an episode done, he just posts it. Like, it'll be like 12 days beforehand and I'm like, oh my God, I'm supposed to make them wait, John. I thought this

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[00:04:15] Josh: didn't know, edging. You got to tease it out.

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[00:04:19] Sean: Okay.

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[00:04:21] John's too easy. I'm easy. So yeah, so you can, you can go to patrion.com/reddit on Wiki, get those ad free episodes. So if you hate John yelling at. To buy stamps. Definitely go check those out. If you're strapped for cash like Sean cause you're getting married as well and want to help out, you always share the podcast or just giving us a rating on apple podcasts, pod chaser, a good pods.

[:

[00:05:09] So the odds are, she didn't vote for her or she, he or she didn't vote for my candy. So not, no one

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[00:05:18] Josh: So I, I appreciate the review, but I can tell you have a bad taste in candy.

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[00:05:29] John: black and blue, black

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[00:05:34] My, my girlfriend bought one of those full containers with four quarters of different candies. One was black and orange jelly beans. And she told me not to eat them, but I, I did

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[00:05:48] Josh: bean fan to know? Cause we were having a party and she wanted to use it as decoration on like the Shukui board.

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[00:06:00] I ate it first day.

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[00:06:26] We're

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[00:06:29] Josh: We're not. I told them I switched it up on John.

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[00:06:34] Josh: more. I say this one was more fun. Say that name again. Emperor Norton. The first Norton, I'm

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[00:06:49] John: China. No

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[00:06:51] Josh: Chinese is not.

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[00:07:04] John: I have no idea, no idea, but it sounds maybe in a, I was going to say like a Scandinavian country, but I don't really know where a fucking scan Navy is, but Finland. Sure. Yeah. Shout out to Finland.

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[00:07:21] Josh: They are, yeah.

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[00:07:31] Josh: there, buddy. So sorry.

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[00:07:39] Josh: by already get that's true.

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[00:07:44] Josh: got nothing. All right. All right. And then Sean saying, Finland? No, no, no.

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[00:07:55] Shout out Finland, baby. You know, the vibes, patrion.com/reddit [00:08:00] on Wiki. But I'm gonna say this cause this is where Ryan is right now. And I miss the HMI Croatia regarding Croatia.

[:

[00:08:34] 18.

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[00:08:38] Josh: That is correct, sir.

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[00:08:42] Josh: title? Probably not, yo fuck it.

[:

[00:08:52] John: I don't know why, but have you guys seen that one person that runs usually in a presidency it's like a wizard?[00:09:00]

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[00:09:04] John: There's like a wizard that runs for president all the time. , I don't know.

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[00:09:20] John: Not for all. Is that it's called the grand wizard.

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[00:09:23] Josh: no. That's the grand I'm

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[00:09:24] Josh: about. The grand wizard is KKK. Oh

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[00:09:31] Sean: Definitely not that definitely not.

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[00:09:38] John: well, I'm very gullible guys. I just

[:

[00:09:47] You are fucking thinking of probably the German guy.

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[00:10:01] Sean: I'm not tripping. His name

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[00:10:04] Josh: vermin Supreme. Oh yeah. That came up. What a name?

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[00:10:12] Josh: wait. It's got a boot on his head.

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[00:10:14] Sean: actual wizard. I

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[00:10:21] Josh: Vermin Supreme part of the libertarian party. So I already don't like him. Oh,

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[00:10:29] Josh: boots, bro. It's a boot. It's not even a wizard. Well, I thought it was,

[:

[00:10:34] Okay. Shit. This may be a long beard and a hat I'm like that's Dumbledore. This man has

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[00:10:41] Josh: That's insane. Oh my God. He looks like he's 80. He's

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[00:10:47] Josh: That's what you get when you wear a boot on your head, I guess, and rename your guy, Vernon, vermin hugs. This guy looks like he'd get along with emperor Norton, to be honest.

[:

[00:11:19] At least kind of you see Joshua, Abraham Norton was born in the town of Deptford, England, which is now. On February 4th, 18, 18 to Sarah and John Norton when he was exactly two years old John and Sarah decided to relocate their family from London to South Africa, where John had established a successful ship shot Shandel, Shaundra jewelry, which sounds like chandelier, but it's basically a business that provides supplies to ships.

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[00:12:14] Yeah, fun stuff. We won't get into that too much, but for, for nearly 20 years, John ran a successful business and was busy in the sheets having a total of 12 children with Joshua being the second oldest.

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[00:12:30] John: son, Josh.

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[00:12:59] Oh, so there [00:13:00] actually was. I think so. I think both of my children, it started with an S I, I could look it up for you if you give me two seconds. No,

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[00:13:12] Josh: Call me daddy. Oh God. I don't like this now. I don't like the tone. I do want someone else to

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[00:13:24] Josh: Anyway, they, they might've had another kid named Sean, but they definitely had 12 kids. So we'll go with that. So so yeah, so it was a successful business for nearly 20 years. But all things good things come to an end and John's business began to decline in the 1840s.

[:

[00:14:12] Yeah. That's that's what people say. Right? I don't know. What do they say about San Francisco is fuck over there. So, all right, well area the foggy, but the bay area is how you said. Yeah, we'll call it caught that. The main reason people believed he moved to San Francisco was the gold rush. Cause it was popping off.

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[00:14:54] Sean: said, a dominant.

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[00:15:17] And then upgrade, you know? So it's like, it's constantly, there's constant real estate. It's a very big growing market in San Francisco. So he profits off of that does very well for himself. But in late to 1852, a famine hit China, creating a shortage of rice that drove up the price 900%. Thanks Obama.

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[00:15:41] Sean: fun, fun fact that did not eat rice. Until my now wife made me eat rice regularly. Oh

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[00:15:50] Sean: Yeah. My sister, my older sister, when I was younger, told me they were checks and then I never ate it from like age five to like eight.

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[00:16:08] Josh: you were traumatized. Yes.

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[00:16:17] Josh: Now, how do you feel about it now?

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[00:16:27] And I was , okay. And then yeah, now I fuck with sushi. I fuck with . I fuck. With Filipino garlic fried rice. Yes, the best.

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[00:16:37] Sean: a fun fact.

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[00:16:45] Sean: I eat it now. I eat it now. It's fine. It's probably , it's probably why I'm morbidly obese.

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[00:16:51] John: You too. Shit, dude. I fucking beat everything. Right. It's like sometimes eat hot Cheetos and rice. Just how much

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[00:17:02] John: Cheetos and rice.

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[00:17:07] John: No goddamn protein of hot Cheetos and

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[00:17:12] Josh: I guess that's that's fair. You don't need it.

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[00:17:16] John: racist.

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[00:17:26] Sean: ahead. Sorry

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[00:17:28] Sean: a rice out of me.

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[00:17:37] Sean: Dumbfoundead

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[00:17:43] Sean: 2022.

[:

[00:17:53] And Joshua was presented with a quote-unquote opportunity to buy a shipload of Peruvian rice [00:18:00] that was sitting on a boat in the San Fran Harbor at 12 and a half cents per pound, as opposed to the 36 cents per pound, Chinese rice. So on the surface, it looks like a good deal, you know, He's paying for about a third of the price of Chinese rice, however many he, so he puts down his order.

[:

[00:18:41] So so many ships began arriving. In fact that it drove the price down. Two 3 cents a pound of what Joshua paid originally. So massive L yeah. Not, not a good look for your boy. It sounds like me and GameStop a couple months ago.

[:

[00:19:01] Sean: Some would say the fact that I'm still in

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[00:19:13] Sean: decision should not be mentioned to you again. I'll go back on his Patriot back.

[:

[00:19:40] It's it's, it's unknown where he went for the next four years. Like he just, he, he moved out of his house his very nice house, some speculated. He might've left San Fran for. But it is more likely that he just kind of lived in like a depression in the city somewhere that he could afford. However, when he did pop up [00:20:00] again he wasn't quite the same, you know, he's maybe a little off his rocker.

[:

[00:20:27] And now for the last nine years and 10 months past of San Fran, California, declare and proclaim myself emperor of these United States. And quote,

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[00:20:53] Holy shit. He just wrote a letter that said I am emperor now.

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[00:21:20] Please we'll live, stream it to all the Wikipedia. Just tell all

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[00:21:29] Sean: buy a fuck ton of game stuff,

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[00:21:36] So we are back. I hope you bought some of our products from our sponsors or whatever, or game stop stock or game stops to help Sean out or, or Patrion to help Sean out again. I bought at the absolute peak. Listen, this entire podcast is just to help show

[:

[00:22:24] Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. So they took it even further and, and began reporting on what he was doing on his day to day. And the citizens absolutely adored him. They loved Ember Norton.

[:

[00:22:48] Josh: Ah, you know what? I was definitely not the first one. I think it was more of a comedic element. They're like this guy is. Absolutely crazy. I love it. Let's [00:23:00] you know, pump them up. Let's see. Let's let's, let's make this a thing. I dunno. It's like a, you know, an asked Shirley column. It was kind of like the emperor Norton column in the newspaper and yeah, the, the residents, they, they took to it.

[:

[00:23:37] The EPL lets or whatever they are and metals just to put on his uniforms so that we could walk around with it. Is that not

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[00:23:46] Josh: Stolen. Yeah. I mean, yeah, he's an emperor.

[:

[00:23:52] Josh: doesn't matter. What are you going to tell them? Yeah.

[:

[00:23:59] Josh: a little bit?

[:

[00:24:03] Sean: he's. Y your name is Josh.

[:

[00:24:12] Sean: It was Fred.

[:

[00:24:19] Sean: because I'm in pro Josh.

[:

[00:24:29] He is seen with these dogs a lot. But these dogs they're, they're just stray dogs, you know what I mean? And they actually got their own. Pieces of newspapers in San Francisco, these dogs, they were so famous. There was a story, I believe it was on them. They took a bone from another dog and that was a story in the newspaper.

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[00:25:10] John: I did not know that. Huh? I did

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[00:25:12] Josh: that. No. Yeah. So the French invaded Mexico in 1861, I don't know what they got from it or if it really did anything in the long run.

[:

[00:25:41] Well, wait, Josh

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[00:25:45] Josh: of Mexico. That's emperor Norton. Oh, sorry. Sorry.

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[00:25:51] Josh: his name. Yeah. So he's

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[00:25:54] Josh: protector of Mexico. There we go. Thank you, John. You could have been his right-hand [00:26:00] man squad

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[00:26:03] Josh: jester.

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[00:26:19] Sean: fair, if, if I declared myself emperor and everybody was just like, yeah, I'd be like, I just be declaring other random shit.

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[00:26:32] Josh: it. I'm so glad you said that, Sean, because that's exactly what he fucking does. He begins making wild proclamations and it gets posted in the newspapers all over San Fran because he's their local celebrity.

[:

[00:27:17] Which brings more questions because it's like, how are you the emperor of the United States? If it doesn't exist, He took, he took the protector part of Mexico and he's like, I can do way more with Mexico. I'm just going to go with that. How selfless of him?

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[00:27:36] Josh: Texas, Texas,

[:

[00:27:44] Josh: of his time. As some people would say. So he, for some reason they would just. Like the town or city would ask him to do stuff. So he was, for some weird reason, asked to find a way to connect Oakland and San Francisco which he did a lot of work that became very [00:28:00] relevant because he thought a suspension bridge would actually be the best way to do this.

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[00:28:10] Sean: his idea. Yes.

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[00:28:27] On top of this, you know, he had small chores, like inspecting roads and sidewalks to ensure they were up to standards. If he didn't think so, he would proclaim it and the roads would be fixed. He also created a wild law, which, you know, law I put in quotes because it wasn't actually a law, but that if you were caught calling San Francisco frisked, It was a high misdemeanor and you could be charged with $25, which is if we're just $500 in today's money.[00:29:00]

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[00:29:06] Josh: Absolutely. Now the, like I said, the citizens loved him and his perks. Crazy. Being emperor meant that he ate at any restaurant for free in the city. Oh,

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[00:29:20] Din Tai Fung every day.

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[00:29:23] Josh: whatever you

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[00:29:24] Josh: So that was in it, he, he also at the opening of every show throughout the city they would always save a seat for him. He didn't always show up, but they would always have one open for him at opening night.

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[00:29:58] So he basically [00:30:00] lived white Truett's dream because he made troop bucks. And yeah, he had a ton of wild wild claims, wild proclamations, wild laws. He lived quite a life. I'm not gonna get into any it, all of it because he made proclamations almost every day. And there's way too many again, too.

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[00:30:34] Sean: Really kinda, he dissolved the United States of America.

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[00:30:59] [00:31:00] I like caused a coup or something like that, you know what I mean? And he could have Donald Trump did

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[00:31:06] Josh: So he, he lived a pretty like he got by basically on the rainy evening of Thursday, eighth January 8th, 1880, the emperor headed out to attend the regular monthly debate of the Hasting society.

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[00:31:49] It is often claimed that the Chronicle included this passage quote on the wreaking pavement in the darkness of the moonless night, under the dripping rain and surrounded by a [00:32:00] hastily gathering crowd of wondering strange. Norton the first by the grace of God, emperor of the United States and protect her of Mexico departed this life.

[:

[00:32:29] Perhaps he will rise more than the pier of most of them. He had better claim to kindly consideration than that, of his lot forbade to Wade through slaughter to the throne that shut the gate of mercy on mankind, through his harmlessness proclamation can always be traced to an. Gentleness of heart, a desire to affect uses and courteous, the possession of which material improv and [00:33:00] bitter full living princes, whose name will naturally suggest themselves.

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[00:33:32] So if anyone has read that that is where that inspiration comes. So his resting places is in in the cities, Mason, Nick cemetery

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[00:33:43] Josh: He's buried in Denver?

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[00:33:54] Emperor Norton may not have been the real emperor of the United States or the protector of [00:34:00] Mexico. But in the eyes of San Francisco, he was their king and they loved him and he loved them by the sounds of it. So I thought this was a fun, weird story that we could do, you know, a little lighthearted one and yeah, that is emperor Norton.

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[00:34:22] John: Abs I did not know shit about it. Anytime I hear that. The name Norton. All I could think about as the fucking antivirus, that's it.

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[00:34:34] Josh: That's that's what he was. He was the antivirus for the United States.

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[00:34:44] Josh: I like that. I dunno when slavery was abolished, but he might've proclaimed that. Maybe.

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[00:35:04] John: There you go.

[:

[00:35:09] Yes. We own everything. Sue. We will Sue the shit out of. Proclamations coming 20, 25. You better believe it, baby

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[00:35:24] Josh: north Norton, Joshua Abraham Norton, the most religious name Graham Norton emperor of the United States of America and protector of Mexico. Ooh, that was like a good old eighties cartoon or something eighties.

[:

[00:35:43] Sounded like a, like a 1950s radio voice.

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[00:35:52] John: Jesus. Wow. We were all born in the nineties. All right. Shit. I'm not that old.

[:

[00:36:06] You guys can fight over whether you want to be emperor of America. I don't want him. Okay, you can be the Philippines then I can be, I'll take

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[00:36:13] Sean: America. We'll we'll I'll be Texas and we'll, we'll get away from America. We'll be our own sovereign state.

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[00:36:24] Oh,

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[00:36:34] Josh: home in more than one

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[00:36:44] Josh: Anytime I can bring up Ted Cruz around Sean. I take my shots.

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[00:36:53] Sean: It's a double entendre because handicap match and wrestling is two on one and half in life. [00:37:00] Just look at a picture of Greg Abbott. Fuck that guy.

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[00:37:08] Sean: this, you will not get me to admit.

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[00:37:20] Josh: a hundred putters, Greg Abbott, always in a wheelchair. Yeah.

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[00:37:35] Of course I like John said, I'm not able to S but is fuck Greg Abbott all day

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[00:37:48] John: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Chris,

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[00:37:54] Sean: It's just the fear of politics. Yeah, you're just open to get it. And that's your job. Your job is [00:38:00] to fucking take the criticism. So

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[00:38:05] Sean: so

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[00:38:09] Josh: Well, he doesn't have any criticism. He's perfect. He's perfect. He's fucking perfect.

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[00:38:27] Proclamations.

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[00:38:31] Josh: God damn. You didn't even make that proclamation. They just offered it to them. That's even better. Yeah. You know what? I w I would proclaim everyone gets Four day week. That's what I'd go four day work

[:

[00:38:44] I proclaim, I proclaimed the legalization of marijuana. I don't smoke weed, but it's kind of ridiculous that it's illegal

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[00:38:54] Sean: Yeah, it must be nice. Not in Texas and Texas had changed a lot of things. There's a lot of fucking [00:39:00] shit in Texas that needs

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[00:39:04] John: Yeah. Like I said, I fucking purple who planned that

[:

[00:39:08] You wouldn't wait for people to offer you just be like, I get to eat every day. I get to eat

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[00:39:20] Sean: three days, a 24 hour work week, not even

[:

[00:39:29] No, that shit people are more productive when they're. Focused on a task instead of spreading it five days a week. That's some bullshit.

[:

[00:39:49] It is what it is. You have CU rules. Of course, of course you gotta have some structure, but yeah. What I would pay to fight politicians in general, not even just

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[00:40:04] John: I also proclaimed that you subscribe to our podcast. You can find us wherever you

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[00:40:10] I was going to do that. Let's see your, your pro proclamations. We can maniacs, let us know on Twitter Instagram, wherever you want. Just proclaim stuff at us and we'll do we'll do our best to make it come true. Or John? Well, he's in charge of our Twitter. We don't have to deal with it then

[:

[00:40:43] And there's always links to everything I just mentioned are in the show notes. Thank you, Wiki maniacs. We will see you next week and it

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[00:40:50] Sean: be real. I don't like the shade at the end there. Josh. I don't really wait a second

[: