Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630-1707

By Albert Cook Myers | Go to book overview
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INTRODUCTION

CAPTAIN THOMAS YONG, an Englishman, the author of the narrative which follows, was one of the many early seekers for the northwest passage from Atlantic to Pacific waters. It was mainly in pursuit of this famous quest that he explored Delaware Bay and River. Before leaving the river he wrote these observations, and sent them as a report to the English Secretary of State, one of the members of the government giving moral support to the undertaking.

Thomas Yong was born in 1579, in the parish of St. Peter's, Cornhill, in the city of London, of a family, it would seem, of the higher sort of merchants, who had attained, apparently, to some affluence and position. The father, Gregory Yong, who figures in the registers of the parish as "Grocer," with the title "Mr.", significantly respectful in that day, was a native of Bedale, in the north riding of Yorkshire, but early in his career had made his appearance in London, and at the time of his death in 1610 was dwelling at the northwest corner of Leadenhall Street. Captain Yong's elder sister Susanna married Robert Evelyn, of the landed family of the Evelyns of Wotton in Surrey -- thus becoming aunt by marriage to the accomplished John Evelyn, the diarist -- and the relations of her father's family with the Evelyns, as shown by certain of the Evelyn letters, were intimate.

Of the other facts of Yong's life nothing further has been learned beyond those respecting his American exploring expedition. He is first heard of as the promoter of this enterprise in 1633, when as a man of the mature age of fifty-four, possessing, it is presumed, wealth and leisure, he petitioned Charles I. for

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Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware, 1630-1707
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