The first Emperor Norton was born in 1815, and declared Emperor in 1859. His reign lasted until January 8, 1880. Listed below you will find his surviving Royal Proclamations (found on a couple of websites).
September 17, 1859
At the peremptory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the past nine years and ten months of San Francisco, California, declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U.S., and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested,
DO HEREBY order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in the 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.
December 2, 1859
Disapproving of the act of Gov. Wise of Virginia in hanging Gen. Brown at Charleston, VA, on December 2nd; and considering that the said Brown was insane and that he ought to have been sent to the Insane Asylum for capturing the State of Virginia with seventeen men; now know all men that I do hereby discharge him, Henry A. Wise, from said office, and appoint John C. Breckenridge of Kentucky to said office of Governor of our province of Virginia.
February 1, 1860
Emperor Norton I issued a royal proclamation ordering representatives of the different states to assemble at Platt’s Music Hall to change laws to ameliorate the evils under which the country was laboring.
July 16, 1860
Whereas, it is necessary for our Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness, as also to the National Advancement of the people of the United States, that they should dissolve the Republican form of government and establish in its stead an Absolute Monarchy; Now, therefore, We, Norton I, by the Grace of God Emperor of the Thirty-three states and the multitude of Territories of the United States of America, do hereby dissolve the Republic of the United States and it is hereby dissolved; and all laws made from and after this date, either by the National Congress or any State Legislature, shall be null and of no effect. All Governors, and all persons in authority, shall maintain order by enforcing the heretofore existing laws and regulations until necessary alterations can be effects. Given under our hand and seal, at Headquarters, Sand Francisco.
October 1, 1860
Emperor Norton I issued a royal proclamation barring Congress from meeting in Washington D.C.
January 27, 1867
After being arrested by an overzealous Patrol Officer for involuntary treatment of a mental disorder, a civic uproar occurred and the Police Chief ordered that Emperor Norton I be released and apologized. Emperor Norton I issued a royal proclamation forgiving the incident.
July 25, 1869
Whereas, we Norton I, “Dei Gratia” Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, being anxious for the future fame and honor of the residents of Sand Francisco, do hereby command, all our good and local subjects to furnish the means and exert their best skill and advance money to make Mr. Marriots aerial machine a success.
August 12, 1869
Norton I, Dei Gratia, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, being desirous of allying the dissensions of party strife now existing with our realm, do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republic parties, and also do hereby decree disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than ten nor less than five years, to all persons leading to any violation of this imperial decree.
December 16, 1869
Emperor Norton I issued a royal proclamation demanding that Sacrament clean its muddy streets and place gaslights on streets leading to the capitol
September 21, 1870
Whereas, our friends and adherent are dissatisfied that we are not better lodged, and hold that we ought to have a suitable palace years ago; whereas, the treasonable prospective act of some of the hotel keepers of this city have kept us out of decent rooms for our accommodations, so that we have been unable to make our family arrangement in order. Now, therefore, we do hereby command the proprietors of the Grand Hotel to forthwith furnish us with rooms, under penalty of being banished.
March 23, 1872
The following is decreed and ordered to be carried into execution as soon as convenient:
- That a suspension bridge be build from Oakland Point to Goat Island, and then to Telegraph Hill; provided that such bridge can be build without injury to the navigable water of the Bay of San Francisco.
- That the Central Pacific Railroad Company be granted franchises to lay down tracks and run cars from Telegraph Hill and along the city front to Mission Bay.
- That all deeds by the Washington Government since the establishment of our Empire are hereby decreed null and void unless our Imperial signature is first obtained thereto.
September 21, 1872
Whereas, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate fund for the suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; and also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project, and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees.
January 2, 1873
Whereas, there are great commotions in different quarters of the terrestrial glove, arising from discussing the questions, “The Purification of the Bible – it’s True and False Light,” and fears are entertained that a war may break out at some remote point and spread all over the world, carrying in its winding course death, pestilence, famine, devastation, and ruin, whereas such a state of affairs is to be deplored by all liberal-minded Christians, who oppose bigotry, charlatanism, and humbuggery, and who follow the golden maxim of the lamented Lincoln, “With malice toward non – with charity for all”‘ and whereas, religion is like a beautiful garden, wherein the False Lights may be compared to the poppies, which fall to the ground, decay and are no more, the True Lights…boom in everlasting etherealism, blessing forever the Creator and the Christian world by their Love and Truth; now, therefore, we, Norton I, do hereby command that all communities select delegates to a Bible Convention, to be held in the City of San Francisco, State of California, on the second day of January, 1873, for the purpose of eliminating all doubtful passages contained in the present printed edition of the Bible, and that measure be adopted towards the obliteration of all religious sects and the establishment of an Universal Religion.