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Amazing Newfoundland Stories Amazing Newfoundland Stories
Jack Fitzgerald

Price: CDN$9.95
Community History
1986 (6th printing November 1997)
ISBN 0-920021-36-0
174 pages
paper, 5.5 x 8.5
Excepts from Amazing Newfoundland Stories are available for online reading.

A collection of unusual, amazing, offbeat and intriguing stories from Newfoundland's past. This book contains stories of mystery, Newfoundland heroes, crimes both ancient and modern, as well as unique and interesting miscellany.

Excerpt #1: The Disappearance of Louisa Journeaux

Louisa Journeaux disappeared on April 18, 1866 from the Island of Jersey near England. Jules Farne was arrested and charged in court with having caused the death or disappearance of the girl, but he was released by the Court because of insufficient evidence. Less than a month later the answer to the Jouneaux mystery turned up at St. George's, Newfoundland

The mystery began on the evening of Louisa's disappearance when she had gone for a boat ride with Farne. A couple who had gone with them in a separate row-boat returned to Jersey to report they had heard calls for help from the Farne boat. When a rescue party searched for the missing pair they found Farne, clinging to a chain at the pierhead, but the girl and the boat had disappeared.

Upon being rescued, Farne claimed they had lost the oars of the boat and that he had jumped in to retrieve them. Both oars were carried away with the tide and Farne decided to swim to shore for help.

An immediate search failed to turn up anything and was called off at midnight. Early the next morning, it was resumed and went on all day. When the party returned empty-handed, Farne was arrested. Although he was released because of insufficient evidence, the people of Jersey believed Farne had killed the girl. Farne fled to Paris because of the growing hostility towards him. As the days passed and there was no sign of what had happed to the girl, her family and friends became convinced she was dead.

Then, on May 10, 1866 a telegraph was received by the missing girl's parents from the Colonial Secretary in Newfoundland. The message caused much excitement throughout Jersey and lifted the spirits of the girls' family and friends. It read: 'Daughter Louisa picked up near England and landed at St. George's Bay. Quite well.'

Farne had told the truth. Their little craft drifted all night and the following morning until it crossed the path of a French ship heading for St. Pierre. The girl was taken on board, treated well, and dropped off safely at St. George's Newfoundland.

When reports of the bizarre mystery and its conclusion spread around the world, Louisa Journeaux became a celebrity. She was taken to St. John's, dined with the Governor at Government House, and given a complete outfit of clothing by Bowring Brothers' store. When she returned home on June 12, almost two months after she disappeared, a very large crowd turned up to cheer and wish her well.

Excerpt #2: The Tuscanny Baby

This is one of the most intriguing stories from our colourful past and deals with one of the most amazing events ever to occur at sea. It took place on a ship sailing from Bristol to Newfoundland. The name of the vessel was the Tuscanny. It was under the command of Captain Edward Power, and carried passengers and fishermen heading for Newfoundland. While only one day at sea, the Tuscanny encountered the French Duke de Biron's Privateer, which immediately opened fire on them. The Tuscanny was carrying a cargo of explosives, and, when the Privateer's shots hit it, the vessel blew up. Out of the 211 people on board, only the Captain and four others were saved. Among the survivors was an infant.

The infant was saved in a most unusual way. When the explosion occurred, the infant was blown completely away from the Tuscanny and landed unhurt on the deck of the French ship. This story is recorded in the Annual Register of Great Britain and happened in 1761. It is described in the register as the most amazing and unusual situation ever to occur at sea.

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