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In San Francisco, Emperor Norton I dissolves the United States republic and declares an absolute monarchy

Emperor Norton I, detail
Emperor Norton I, troubled by the turmoil of the upcoming presidential election, declared the United States republic dissolved and announced an absolute monarchy.   Joshua Norton was born to a Jewish family in England and arrived in San Francisco in the 1850s where he became a wealthy businessman.  He was bankrupt, however, by 1853, and became mentally deranged.  He declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859 and, later, Protector of Mexico. San Franciscans adopted Norton as a popular figure in the city.  He died "in office" in 1880. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Caroline M. Fannin, " Joshua Abraham Norton," in Mark C. Karnes (editor), American National Biography, Supplement 2 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 410.