"If I were Emperor of the United States, you would see great changes effected."

Young Joshua Norton led a prosperous life during his early years in San Francisco. His general store boomed. He served with the Vigilantes of 1851 and counseled them to give prisoners a chance to defend themselves. He joined the Masons. Sometimes in the company of his friends, the McAllisters, he daydreamed about what he would do with the country if he were King. For this, his friends started to call him "Emperor". No one called him mad until a string of business failures caused him to break faith with the world.

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