Tag Archives | british empire

The Forgotten Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, Norton I

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Emperor Norton Making His Daily Rounds Inspecting the City

An  odd tale about an eccentric old timee entrepreneur.

via Today I Found Out

Today I found out about the largely forgotten colorful benevolent dictator of the United States and protector of Mexico, Emperor Norton I.

His Imperial Majesty Joshua Abraham Norton I was born between 1811 and 1818 in England. Records of his birth date vary considerably, but it’s likely that the latter date is the correct one. His family immigrated to South Africa when he was quite young, where his father headed a small Jewish community. As a young man, he initially attempted to run his own business in Cape Town but quickly went bankrupt and started working at his father’s ship chandlery instead.

By 1848, Emperor Norton had suffered some severe losses: his mother, father, and both of his brothers had died. With no other family, Norton inherited all $40,000 of his father’s estate and was eager to search for a new beginning.

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British Colonial Secrets Released

Colonial-documents-from-t-008Via the Guardian:

Today the Foreign Office has made public the first batch of thousands of “lost” colonial-era files believed to have been destroyed. The documents were secretly sent back to the UK when former colonies became independent. They shed new light on how British officials ran countries such as Kenya, Cyprus and present-day Malaysia.

Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments. Here’s what [journalists] have published from the files today:

• Monthly intelligence reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya (now part of Malaysia).

• The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.

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