We have touched on Charles Darwin on the blog before (see here). His famous book, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published in 1859. This was the same year that Big Ben rang for the first time. It was also the same year that San Francisco based Joshua Norton (pictured), an English bankrupt, declared himself to be Emperor of the United States of America. His reign ended at his death in 1880.
Picture Credit: http://www.shirleytallman.com/sfimages/Joshua_A_Norton2.jpg