Nineteenth-century History
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Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Joshua A. Norton is a little known figure in American history. He was the first and only self-declared emperor of the United States of America. He styled himself as His Majesty, Emperor Norton I. Most of his contemporaries understandably branded him as crazy, unstable and as having gone off the deep...
The General Mining Act of 1872

The General Mining Act of 1872

When gold was discovered in California in 1848, it caused a mass-migration of prospective miners to the west. Unfortunately at that time, the US government had very few mining laws, practically none of which were effective, and without a significant presence in the newly-acquired state of California...
Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

There are few mining towns of the old west which are still operational. Most mining operations were shut down for a large variety of different reasons and the towns supporting them then slowly dried up and eventually became ghost towns. Idaho Springs, Colorado, however, is one of the few which are s...
Kings of Bavaria: King Otto I

Kings of Bavaria: King Otto I

King Otto I was the king who never reigned. His story was a tragic one that to this day remains unique in the history of Bavaria. He became king upon his older brother's death, but as he had already been declared insane and mentally unfit to rule, his uncle took over his royal duties as prince regen...