Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh), English author, soldier, seaman, courtier and explorer had sailed the Orinoco River in South America in 1595 to look for the legendary land of gold. His book The Discoverie of Guiana, published a year later implanted the dream of El Dorado. He did not find it, eventually fell out of favour and was beheaded on 29 October 1618 at Westminster. Some two hundred years later, Alexander von Humboldt, scientist, explorer and adventurer among other things, also travelled the same river in search of gold. He too was unsuccessful, but 150 years later one of the world’s richest mineral deposit was discovered along that river. Despite all this, El Dorado has come to be used by people hoping and looking for any place where riches could be found easily and quickly.
Did You Know That..... only a few years after the proclamation of South Australia, people were put in gaol if they could not pay their debts eventhough the colony itself was stone broke!!
One particularly annoyed gentleman put his pen to paper and wrote this letter.
To his Excellency the Governor,
In other countries laws and regulations have been made from time immorial to prevent crime, but it remained for the theorising quacks of this newly formed settlement to punish men unaccused of crime.
Debtors are here not only imprisoned, but imprisoned in the same building with convicted criminals, locked up at night in cells like fellons, from 9 o'clock 'till 6 in the morning, and compelled to obey the calls of nature in the very apartments where they sleep.
To crown the tender mercies of the tyrannical democrats with which this Eldorado swarms, the solemn mockery of religion is added.
A beast will not defile its lair, but the inmates of Her Majesty's Menagerie, after being doomed to a degration which sinks them lower than brutes, are called upon to attend Prayers on the Sabbath.
Reckoned lower than beasts six days a week and men on the Seventh!
Such a methamorphosis, elevating and degrading alternately, making a rational creature first the victim and then the sport of creative power, would make Pythagoras stare, were he to arise from the dead and witness the pranks of the little demigods, or rather demons of the far famed self-supporting and now Bankrupt colony of South Australia.