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10 June 1843 ‘Bolters’

 10 June 1843 ‘Bolters’

On 10 June 1843 a letter was published in the Register written by Isaac Nonmus and addressed to Captain Black. Isaac Nonmus was one of many men who fled the colony to escape their debts during the severe depression which afflicted South Australia in the early 1840s. These flights became so frequent that the absconders came to be termed ‘Bolters’. Nonmus, an auctioneer and general commission agent left Port Adelaide aboard the Vixen bound for New South Wales. The ship must have struck bad weather on her way down the gulf; a nervous Nonmus persuaded the captain to put him ashore on Kangaroo Island. In his letter Nonmus thanked Captain Black for landing him on Kangaroo Island and went on:

It would be madness for me to proceed further while I have the means within my reach of escaping a watery grave. ... I have a dear and affectionate wife and five lovely children looking to me for future support.

Nonmus may have escaped a ‘watery grave’, but the paper reported that a bailiff was sent to bring him back to Adelaide to face his debtors.

Register 3,7,10 June 1843.