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Link: • Pehr Kalm to Carl Linnaeus, 27 April 1744 n.s.
Dated 16 Apr. 1744. Sent from Moskva (Russia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Pehr KalmKalm, Pehr (1716-1779).
Swedish. Botanist and traveller,
professor of natural history at
Åbo. Disciple of Linnaeus.
Travelled in North America 1748-1751.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has arrived safely in Moscow on April 7 after three weeks’ journey from Petersburg. Sten Carl BielkeBielke, Sten Carl (1709-1753).
Swedish. Baron, government official,
patron of science, and naturalist. One
of the founders of the Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences. Private pupil of
Linnaeus. Close friend of Pehr Kalm,
whose voyage to America he supported
financially. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
went before him with the mail-coach. Kalm had good company the whole way thanks to a Prussian Government Councillor named BraunBraun, German. Prussian
Government Councillor.
. He spent Easter in Novgorod and passed through Waldaj, ”famous for its coquette women”. He visited the village of Tweer where no women are permitted to live. Once a man named KneesKnees, Russian. Citizen,
living in Tweer in Russia.
owned the whole village. After contracting a venereal disease, he became so misogynic that he bequeathed his estate to a monastery with a strict prohibition for women to set foot there.

Spring is not very advanced here. The only flowers Kalm has found are: Ornithogalum, Iuncus, Caltha, Thlapsi, Draba, Erysinum, Tussilago, Viola [there are references to Hortus CliffortianusLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Cliffortianus, plantas exhibens quas in
hortis tam vivis quam siccis Hartecampi
in Hollandia coluit [...] Georgius
(Amsterdam 1737). Soulsby
no. 328.
for all of them], Carex s. Gramen cyperoides vernum minimum, [there is a reference to John RayRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Synopsis methodica stirpium BritannicarumRay, John Synopsis methodica
stirpium Britannicarum, in qua tum notae
generum characteristicae traduntur, tum
species singulae breviter describuntur:
ducentae quinquaginta plus minus novae
species partim suis locis inseruntur,
partim in appendice seorsim exhibentur.
Cum indice & virium epitome
I-III (London 1690-1724).
], Eriophorum, hazel, and aspen. Kalm encloses a yellow little plant, probably a Draba. The woods consist of pines and birches; junipers are rare.

Minerals are scarce; sandy plains dominate. On the fields, not far from Tweer, Kalm found a silex, consisting of heaps of worms [there is here a reference to Systema naturae, presumably to Naturae curiosorum Disocoridis secundi Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Naturae
curiosorum Disocoridis secundi Systema
naturae in quo naturae regna tria
secundum classes, ordines, genera,
species systematice proponuntur
, 2nd
edition (Stockholm, 1740). Soulsby no.
]. There is a stone looking like soft marble, of which the lower part of the Kremlin is made. Everything else is brickwork. Kalm has seen the enormous church bell that is said to be 30 feet high.

He has acquired a beautiful collection of mussels and shells. He has also collected insects, but it is a problem to preserve them during the long and bumpy transports. He is now sorry he has neglected his studies of entomology. How wonderful it would be to have Linnaeus by his side and to be instructed by him.

Johann Georg GmelinGmelin, Johann Georg
(1709-1755). German. Voyager, botanist
and chemist. At the initiative of
empress Anna of Russia he spent ten
years (1733-1743) exploring Siberia. In
1749 he became professor of botany and
chemistry at Tübingen. Together
with his nephew Samuel Gottlieb he wrote
Flora Sibirica (1747-1769).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
beseeched Kalm to give him his copy of Linnaeus’s new edition of Genera plantarum [...] Editio secundaLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum [...] Editio secunda aucta
& emendata
(Leiden 1742).
, together with Caroli Linnaei [...] Fundamenta Botanica in quibus theoria botanices aphoristice traditurLinnaeus, Carl Caroli Linnaei
[...] Fundamenta Botanica in quibus
theoria botanices aphoristice
, 2nd ed. (Stockholm, 1740).
Soulsby no. 257.
in one volume, a gift from Bielke, and did not leave him until he had got it. Now Kalm must manage with the old edition.

P.S. He hopes that Linnaeus has received his letter from St Petersburg [Kalm to Linnaeus, 25 March 1744Letter L0544], in which he changed his mind about applying for the chair of physics there.


a. (LS, VIII, 10-11). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1922), vol. I:8, p. 9-12   p.9  p.10  p.11  p.12.