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Joyful Journey to Massacre Island

Written by
James A. Fontana

Cover of Joyful Journey to Massacre Island
Click image for larger view of cover.

320 pages,
ISBN: 9780888877345
$22.00 CA

This book is in stock and ships within 48 hours of receipt of order.

About the Book

In 1734, at the command of the Governor of New France, explorer Pierre Gaulthier de Varennes de La Vérendrye, together with his three sons including his eldest, Jean-Baptiste, and a young Jesuit missionary, Father Pierre Aulneau, set out from Montreal (Ville Ste-Marie) with an expedition of fifty men on a 1,500 mile trek into North America's wild uncharted interior.

His aims were to discover new lands for France and new sources of beaver pelts for Montreal, to evangelize the Native population, and to seek and find a mysterious Native nation called the Mandan. But the main prize was to find a route to Cathay via the Great Western Sea, that is, the Pacific Ocean.

Eventually La Vérendrye discovered the Mandan and the Turtle Mountains, but not without extreme hardship and tragedy. This is his story.

back cover of Joyful Journey to Massacre Island
Click image for larger view of backcover.

About the Author James A. Fontana

James Fontana was born in 1938 in Fort Frances, Ontario, where he grew up within a fifteen-minute walk to the river where the great La Vérendrye's expedition passed with his huge, heavily loaded freighter canoes numerous times.

His interest in writing was instilled by the nuns at St. Mary's, the teaching personnel at Fort Frances High. It developed further at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, where he attained his BA. James then studied law at University of Ottawa, being called to the Bar of Ontario in 1966. After thirty years on the bench - four years as an Assistant Crown Attorney, twenty years with a private practice, and six years as a Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice - he retired in 2014.

In retirement he has returned to writing for the sheer enjoyment and has produced over seven books. He lives with his wife, Margaret, and their little dog, Reggi. His crime novels include "No Cause of Death" (1994) and "The Mad Bomber of Parliament Hill" (2005, Borealis).

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