search   index   by subject   by year   biographies   books  SF Activities  shop museum   contact

Funeral of Lazarus

Cartoonist Edward Jump's famous picture, from the Wasp. shows Norton I as the pope, performing the funeral service for Lazarus. The crowd is composed of well-known San Franciscans of the era. Bummer and Lazarus were mongrel dogs – the supposed pets of Norton I.

Famed San Francisco writer Samuel Dickson offered two versions of the Bummer and Lazarus story. The first, in San Francisco is My Home, where Dickson wrote:
Bummer and Lazarus went everywhere with him. No theatrical performance opened in San Francisco from 1855 to 1880 that three complimentary tickets for the first row of the balcony were not put aside for Bummer and Lazarus and Norton I, Emperor of the United States. It was a custom that held until that tragic day when his beloved mongrel, Lazarus, died, and thousands of San Franciscans followed it to its grave where it was buried as a ward of the city.
In the 1950's, Dixon's book, San Francisco Kaleidoscope, offered a second version of the death of Lazarus:
In October of 1863 a fire raged in the city. Through the streets came roaring the brave men of the Volunteer Fire companies, the St. Francis Hook and Ladder, the Columbia Eleven, the Knickerbocker Five, and the Washington Hose. One of the trucks ran over and killed Lazarus; it was not known which truck it was, although each company sorrowfully claimed the credit. The body of Lazarus was stuffed, and although the [board of] supervisors claimed it, the remains went to a purveyor of hard liquor named Martin. He paid the taxidermist fifty dollars, and put the mortal remains of Lazarus on public display.