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The Emperor In The East Bay: The Imperial Diplomacy of Norton I in Oakland and Berkeley

  • Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics 518 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA, 94110 United States (map)

The Emperor In The East Bay:
The Imperial Diplomacy of Norton I in Oakland and Berkeley
with Richard Schwartz,
author of the book Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley

Tuesday, October 6, 7:00-9:00PM
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics,
518 Valencia Street, San Francisco

$10 donation requested; no one will be turned away.

Please join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign and historian Richard Schwartz for a special event exploring an overlooked - but important - part of the Emperor's story.

The conventional wisdom is that Emperor Norton was solely a San Francisco figure - a creature of the streets, parks, libraries, lecture halls, and newspapers of his adopted city.

In fact, the Emperor was a very well-known presence in Oakland and Berkeley, as well, making weekly visits to both places - and sometimes staying for days or weeks at a time.

There are numerous proclamations and other accounts of Emperor Norton's traveling on the ferry between San Francisco and Oakland. Charles Purcell - the chief engineer of the Emperor's bridge between the two cities - called Oakland the Emperor's "Summer Capital." Indeed, a number of the Emperor's proclamations - including the one (from June 1872) setting out the vision for the Transbay Tube - were datelined "Brooklyn," an independent township annexed to Oakland in 1872 and better known today as East Oakland.

Emperor Norton also regularly attended lectures and reviewed the cadets at the college in Berkeley - both before and after it became the University of California - and was reported to have been much beloved by the students there.

Wine and snacks will be served.