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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0094 • Johann Amman to Carl Linnaeus, September 1736 n.s.
Dated Septembris 1736. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Viro doctissimo atque celeberrimo
CAROLO LINNAEO
S[alutem] p[lurimam dicit]
Joannes Amman.

Quas ad me Amstelodamo 26 Junii ad me exarasti literas simul cum GronoviiGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Clariss[imi] epistola[1] & tabulis Tuis Systematicis[2] accepi. Diu desideravi tabulas istas toties in novis literariis recitatas videre, tandem ex munificentia Doctiss[imi] Gronovii eas pe[r]lustrare licuit. Fateor plurima inibi reperiri, quae ingenium et doctrinam in rebus naturalibus non mediocrem significant. Tua vero methodus plantarum nova a situ et numero apicum staminumque tantum desumpta, in inferioribus generibus definiendis multum, in summis autem parum aut minus reliquis hucusque excogitatis mihi valere videtur. Ammanniae character quoad stamina, pistillum, calycem, mihi ignotus est, cum hactenus eam nunquam florentem viderim. Habeo quidem elegantissime exsiccatum specimen in America lectum, verum in eo nil nisi fructus apparent. Petala et stamina adeo fugacia sunt, ex relatione HoustoniHouston, William (1695-1733).
British. Surgeon. Studied at Leiden
under Boerhaave. Went with the South Sea
Company to Central America and the West
Indies.
, ut etiam in vigenti planta vix observari possint.[3] Plurima mihi sunt nova plantarum genera, tam Indica quam Americana, Tatarica, Sibirica & Davurica, verum tempus nunc mihi non est eorum characteres Tecum communicare. Floram Tuam Lapponicam videre valde gestio, certus plantas ibi contineri, quae etiam apud nos crescunt.[4] Diu est quod D[ominu]m SiegesbekSiegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeusís sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
non viderim, ob distantiam locorum, ubi degimus; nec tractatus Tuos ad eum missos hactenus scivi. Hortus, cui ille praeest, AcademiamImperatorskaja akademija nauk,
Imperial Academy of Sciences

Russian. Imperial Academy of Sciences of
St Petersburg, founded in 1725. Its
publications are Commentarii
Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis
Petropolitanae
, 1-14 (1726 -
1744/1746 [i.e. pub. 1728 - 1751]) and
Novi Commentarii Academiae
Scientiarum Imperialis
Petropolitanae
, 1-20 (1747/1748 -
1775 [i.e. pub. 1750 - 1776]).
minime spectat, sed ad Pharmacopolia hujus Imperii pertinet. Inter Academiam autem et Collegium Medicum, ad quod Pharmacopolia pertinent in hisce regionibus, nulla est communio. Num D[ominu]s Siegesbek Catalogum horti Pharmacopolarum conscripserit, me prorsus latet.[5]

Vale.

Scribebam Petropoli d[ie], Septembris 1736.

[address] Monsieur / Monsieur Linnaeus, Docteur en / Medecine tres celebre / a / Amsterdam.

upSUMMARY

Johann Amman has received a letter from Linnaeus from Amsterdam dated 26 June, as well as one from Johan Frederik Gronovius, accompanied by Linnaeusís Systema naturae. Amman has long wished to see this work, as it is frequently referred to in the literary news these days. He is much obliged to Gronovius for giving him this opportunity. Linnaeusís new method of arranging plants, by the number and situation of the stamens and anthers, appears to Amman very suitable for defining the inferior genera, but less so for the superior ones.

The stamens, pistil and calyx of Ammania are unknown to Amman, as he has never seen the plant in flower. He has a dried specimen from America, which shows the fruit only. The petals and stamen are said by William Houston to be so fugitive that they are hard to find, even in the living plant. Amman owns many new genera, from India, America, Tartary, Siberia and Davuria, but does not have sufficient leisure to give Linnaeus their characters. Amman wants to see Flora Lapponica, which contains many plants also growing in Russia. He has not seen Johann Georg Siegesbeck for some time, because they live at a distance from each other, nor has Amman been able to send him Linnaeusís publications. Siegesbeck is the curator of the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg, which has nothing to do with the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Amman does not know if Siegesbeck has written a catalogue of the garden.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, I, 128-129). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 191-192   p.191  p.192.
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 50-51   p.50  p.51.

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
This letter has not come down to us.
2.
3.
Johann Amman is referring to the description of Ammania in the collection of drawings, herbaria and manuscripts, bequeathed to Philip MillerMiller, Philip (1691-1771).
British. Gardener of the Chelsea Physic
Garden. Corresponded with many
botanists. His rich herbarium was sold
to Joseph Banks. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
at the Chelsea Physic GardenThe Chelsea Physic Garden,
British. Founded in 1673 by the Society
of Apothecaries.
by William HoustonHouston, William (1695-1733).
British. Surgeon. Studied at Leiden
under Boerhaave. Went with the South Sea
Company to Central America and the West
Indies.
. A catalogue of Houstonís plants from the Carribean region, Reliquiae HoustounianaeHouston, William Reliquiae
Houstounianae: seu, Plantarum in America
Meridionali a Gulielmo Houstoun [...]
collectarum icones manu propria aere
incisae; cum descriptionibus e schedis
ejusdem in bibliotheca Josephi Banks
[...] asservatis
(London 1781).
, was published in 1781, by Joseph BanksBanks, Joseph (1743-1820).
British. Naturalist, president of the
Royal Society. Together with Daniel
Solander he took part in Cookís first
voyage. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who purchased Millerís herbarium in 1774. About Houstonís collection at Chelsea, see Le Rougetel, The Chelsea gardener: Philip Miller 1691-1771Le Rougetel, H. The Chelsea
gardener: Philip Miller 1691-1771

(London 1990).
.
4.
5.