In January 2007, Senator Jorge Spinelli of the Aerican Empire organized a modest tribute to Joshua Norton, wherein several states known to celebrate Emperor Norton Day on January 8th were invited to contribute a short written or recorded essay about His Majesty. The responses are collected below.

By Emperor Eric Lis, Aerican Empire
      The first time I ever heard of Emperor Norton was when I read Neil Gaiman's Sandman, wherein the lord of the realm of dreams finds a penniless Englishman and gifts him with delusions of grandeur to prove that a dream can propel a human from depression to nobility. Gaiman tells Norton's story while using his own Endless to cast Norton, not as a broken man, but as a living beacon of hope. As a psychologist, I believe Norton probably did suffer from mental illness induced by the trauma of his life collapsing, but then again, here I sit trying to accomplish the same things he did, and I can only hope to have success like his. Today, we who share Norton's dream (and a little of his madness) honour him for what he did and what he meant. Isn't it amazing what one little dream can do?

Essay 1
By Baron Von Servers, the Dominion of British West Florida

      Subjects and Citizens of Unrecognized Crowns and Nations, lend me your ears.
      As we gather to commemorate Norton I, By his own declaration, Emperor of the United States and Defender of Mexico, let us consider well the path he has taken.
      The late Emperor of hallowed memory did not attempt to expand his holdings beyond those he could effectively manage. He did not attempt a violent repression of those who mocked his title. He did not allow those around him to remain complacent.
      The Emperor addressed the failures of the macronationial government of the United States by Decree and Letter. He commanded that bridges be built to serve his community and the city of San Francisco. He went daily among his people listening to their petitions.
      Let each of us also so strive to build institutions worthy of the example Emperor Norton I set for us.
      We must ensure that our governments provide effective leadership for all of the peoples and lands we find ourselves called upon to govern. We must have calm reserve in the face of those who would belittle or mock our Nations and their institutions. We must continue to strive for the goals embodied in our movements. We must never yield to reality.
      Let us work for the benefit of those around as. The Dominion of British West Florida is committed to the restoration of the City of New Orleans, even as the Emperor was dedicated to the city of San Fransisco.
      Let us remain actively involved in diplomacy, by letter and statement, both among ourselves as micronationalists, and as 'citizens' within the macronational structures. If Emperor Norton could stoop to write the California Congressional Delegation, how can we refuse to also write those who claim to represent us? Those poor souls deserve our help, advise, and when possible our encouragement.
      Let us never forget to listen to the commoner, as their protection and advancement is our only true purpose.
      Let us continue onward, ever mindful of our position, never letting current realities dim our vision.
      As we celebrate the memory of the Late Emperor, let also rededicate ourselves to the Dream he brought to life for us.

Essay 2
By President Kevin Baugh, The Republic of Molossia

      On 17 September 1859 a man walked into the offices of the San Francisco Bulletin, and handed them the following proclamation, in brief:
      "At the peremptory request and desire 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 last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S...."
      That man was Joshua Norton, formerly a merchant of that city, apparently driven off the deep end while failing to corner the rice market. Regardless of the reasons, Joshua Norton that day became Emperor Norton and overnight one of America's greatest eccentrics was born. Over time, Emperor Norton issued many proclamations, some fanciful and some inspired, establishing himself as a local celebrity in a city with a reputation for free-thinking. He had the best seat at the opera, free food at local restaurants, free clothes from local merchants and the respect (at least outwardly) of the San Francisco constabulary and city leadership. His speeches held audiences in sway and even resulted in preventing a lynching at one point. When he died, flags flew at half-staff and thousands attended his funeral.
      Emperor Norton is the embodiment of today's micronational movement, a man who has proclaimed himself king, and has gained recognition and respect as a result. His spirit is in every facet of the hobby, from issuing money to issuing proclamations, from grand gestures to grand dreams. Our imaginations are sparked by such a person, the self-declared king, and in his legacy many micronationalists see themselves, proclaiming imposing titles and curing the ills of the world with their own brand of eccentricity. Today, when each one of us walks down the street, a self-proclaimed leader of an ephemeral nation, Emperor Norton walks with us, and indeed walks with all of those that make their own unconventional path in a conventional world.

Essay 3
By King Joan II, Riboalte

The Kingdom of Riboalte, congratulates to Aerican Empire by its celebration. It is always reason for satisfaction to emphasize the importance of the Head of a nation. An important nation tam like Aerican Empire, a one of the pioneers in the micronational world and referring one for many nations. Receive the citizens of Aerican Empire, best desires of the Citizens of the Kingdom of Riboalte.
      Happy celebration of Emperor Norton's Day!
      Long life to your leaders!
      Long life to the Aerican Empire citizens!
      Long life to Aerican Empire!
      Aerican Empire lives!

Essay 4
By Lord Imperator ~ CommiCzar, Imperium of DeWaCo Estates

      My fellow Micronationalists,
      On behalf of the Proud People, of the Grand Lands of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates, it is my great honor and privilege to have been extended an invitation to present a few words on this great day.
      The Micronational Movement has many beginnings, each based upon a personal point in time; where each individual first came to a realization, that he or she was destine to become a micronationalist, and participate in this unique experience that we prefer to refer to as the Micronational Movement.
      The Micronational Movement has many meanings, and diversed definitions, each based upon a personal perspective; a vision as to what he or she would like to contribute to the Greater Community of MicroNations and MicrOrganizations.
      The Micronational Movement is many things to many people, but there is one thing that binds each micronationalist to one another; and that one common thread-of-bond, has it's roots deeply planted in the original ideas that Emperor Norton expressed so many years ago.
      To his credits, all micronationalist are forever indebted;
      and we shall continue to
      "Dream the Dream".
      May GOD Bless ALL People who walk in the shadow and path of the Great Emperor Norton;
      thereby forever keeping the Dream alive.
      Long Live the Micronational Movement !!
      Thank You.

Essay 5
By Minister of Intermicronational Affairs Randy Walker, The Aerican Empire

      To me, Emperor Norton is a symbol of hope Today, micronations struggle for recognition from other nations. We should not despair. Instead, we micronationalists should folow Norton's example. Emperor Norton faced many obstacles but he never stopped being emperor. He issued imperial decrees and money was printed with his likeness. Both were widely ignored, but not once did he give up.
      Eventually, local businesses started accepting his money! We should go on doing what we're doing and we should do it proudly, and with enthusiasm! And we should not give up or reduce our efforts. Someday, we'll be treated as equals by other nations. That is my hope.

Essay 6
By King Adam, Sovereign Kingdom of Kemetia


The Aerican Empire thanks all who participated in this event. By working together to celebrate the great men and women who inspire us, we can all hope to help to bring about the kind of world Norton would want, where the just, the good-hearted, and the moderately eccentric take their places as the leaders of the world.

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