Myths & Apocrypha
The Dogging Myth
Bummer & Lazarus were the Emperor's companions--not!
Source credit: Bummer
& Lazarus San Francisco's Famous Dogs
The Lassie quality
dog story of Bummer & Lazarus is well worth a read. [Visit the book
We consider Mr. Barker's
work holy writ in its meticulous separation of fact from fallacy.
*Had they been the Emperor's pets, no city proclamation would have been needed to protect them--duh?!
Ultimately, it's not a treasonous act of subversion to mislink the nobility exhibited in these three San Franciscans' lives. The association is understandable after so many years and yarns. A few of Edward Jump's satirical cartoons of the time contain all three actors which Barker and others have sited as contributing to their historic misassociation, most notably the free lunch counter illustration and "Funeral of Lazarus" (in which Norton-1 is depicted as presiding eulogist).
|One might also extrapolate
peerage from the over-the-top obituaries they each received in the papers.
The samples below suggest they were all profoundly important to the community--in
a clear sense, royalty.
“Lazarus has risen, and is stuffed [taxidermy]... Bright dogs can
never die! Lazarus sits in state.
...two dogs with but a single bark, two tails that wagged as one, a death and a separation.”
[The Daily Evening Bulletin, 26 October 1863
"...There is no longer any use of withholding from the public the
appalling fact that 'Bummer' is dead!
"Le Roi Est Mort. Imperial Norton is dead and turned to clay.
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