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"feudal lord of Tierra del Fuego".

At the age of 17 he left his father’s home and moved to Paris to study engineering. French was well spoken among the Rumanian intellectual circles and was fluently spoken by Julius. He was aware of the fact that being a Jew he would have a tough time and be submitted to constant humiliations if he entered Bucharest’s Polytechnic University.

As if his energy needed to break loose, after he graduated, his romantic thirst of adventure led him to look for new horizons and better winds than those of his homeland. He had now started a life of travelling and exploration.

In the first place, he visited Constantinople – the access door to the orient – moving on to Egypt and its desert, where the monuments eternalize history. He then moved on to Japan, China, India, Siberia, New Orleans, Cuba, Mexico and Brazil. It is there that he finds out about the ".. gold deposits found a few yards away from the Strait of Magellan"... These news would change the course of his life. The unknown and wild region would become the most interesting place on Earth for him. Julius Popper – like Cortéz and Pizarro before him – dreamt of conquering the hidden riches and decided to travel to Buenos Aires. At this time, he was only 28 years old.

Julius – a mixture of adventurer and discoverer, engineer and businessman, inventor and writer, traveler and scientist – reached Buenos Aires drawn by the gold rush.

During 1885, he draws attention in Buenos Aires. He had and astonishing easiness to establish relationships with the most prominent characters of Buenos Aires’ ruling class. His Parisian intellect, his Spanish knowledge and imposing stance, were a key asset to establishing the relationships. It is still considered amazing the amount of political trust placed in his hands, as well as the confidence and affection he inspired in the Argentine ruling class. Soon, he expanded his circle of influence and gained support for his main business ventures. Among these was the Tierra del Fuego Development Company

which awakened the interest of the Argentine Geographers. It is important to mention that during this period Tierra del Fuego had few white settlers whom – with the exception of Thomas Bridges – were constantly at war with the indians.

Popper is able to recruit an expeditionary group of 50 men - mostly Austrians - supported by the Southern Gold-bearing Company. He and his Austrian expedition landed on the coasts of Tierra del Fuego at the end of 1885, and within two weeks their work was rewarded with success. The news of Popper having found 400 lbs. of gold spreads throughout Argentina. He is immediately harassed by low life adventurers, outlaws and fugitive criminals that want to run the city of El Paramo, founded by Popper. The wild conquistador was able to rid himself of these unwanted characters by means of a curious strategy. He built scarecrows and dressed them in uniforms, and then moved on to the outlaws’ camp. When the outlaws refused to return the stolen gold they were suddenly confronted by the "imperial horsemen", wreaking havoc among them. After these events took place, he minted his own currency and surrounded himself with a personal guard mostly made up of Austrians.
Soon, the authorities of Punta Arenas -
Capital of the Chilean zone of Tierra del


      page 24  
1-2-3-4-5-6     INTRODUCTION  
7-8     CHAPTER 1 - From Far West to Patagonia - BUTCH CASSIDY  
9-10     CHAPTER 2 - Tragedy of the Cervantes - THE “MONTE CERVANTES” SHIPWRECK  
11     CHAPTER 3 - The First Flight over Tierra del Fuego - GUNTHER PLÜSCHOW  
12     CHAPTER 4 - The Promised Land - THE ROAD OF THE WELSH PEOPLE  
13-14     Chapter 5 - The Watchman of the South - LUIS PIEDRA BUENA  
15-16     Chapter 6 - The Prison of the End of the World - Ushuaia’s Prison  
17     Chapter 7 - The Perito Moreno Glacier - FRANCISCO PANCRACIO MORENO  
18     Chapter 8 - THE FATHER DE AGOSTINI  
19-20     Chapter 9 - Long Live the King! - ORLLIE ANTOINE  
21     Chapter 10 - No Place for Women - ELLA HOFFMAN de BRUNSWICK  
22     Chapter 11 - The Boundless Empire - JOSE MENENDEZ  
23-24-25     Chapter 12 - Dreams of Gold - JULIUS POPPER  
27-28-29-30     PRESS ISSUE