YOUNG (Yong, Yonge), THOMAS, captain, reputed to have journeyed up the Kennebec River to the St. Lawrence; fl. 1634–40?
Thomas Young was granted a pass in April 1634 by Charles I, stating that he was employed “upon special and weighty affairs concerning our private service” for discovery in America. He arrived in Virginia about July 1634 in two ships with a surgeon and cosmographer aboard and with his nephew, Robert Evelin, a cousin of the diarist, as his lieutenant. Young apparently spent 18 months searching for a navigable passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the “South Sea.” Confident of success, he petitioned on 22 May 1636 on behalf of himself and his associates for control over “any inland countries and rivers” bordering the strait which they hoped to discover.
According to a manuscript written about 1660, Capt. Young and three men went up the “Kenebeth” River in 1636 and “came into Canada River very neare Kebeck Fort.” Young was sent to France and his company returned safely to New England. This expedition has been identified with that reported in Father Paul Le Jeune’s Relation of 1640, when an Englishman who had departed from the lake or river Quinibequi [sic] in Acadia was discovered near Quebec and eventually sent to England by way of France. According to Le Jeune, the Englishman related some wonderful things about New Mexico. “I have learned that one can sail to that country through seas that are North of it. For two years I have ranged the whole Southern coast, from Virginia to Quinebiqui, seeking to find some great river or great lake that might lead me to peoples who had some knowledge of this sea which is to the North of Mexico. Not having found any, I came to this country to enter the Saguené, and penetrate, if I could, with the savages of the country, to the North sea.”
BM, Egerton ms 2395, ff.397–411 (printed in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 2d ser., I, 231–32). JR, XVIII, 236–237. PRO, CSP, Col., 1574–1660; CSP, Dom., 1635–36. Nute, Caesars of the wilderness, 89–90, 284. On the family see: The Genesis of the United States, ed. Alexander Brown (2v., Boston and New York, 1897), II, 887.