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
Excerpt #1: The
Disappearance of 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.
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
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
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.