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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 7 April 1748 n.s.
Dated March:27:1747/48. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.


Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
sends Linnaeus some seeds of the early ripe Indian corn. He expects to have better seeds next year, but he thinks these will do for the experiment that Linnaeus intends to perform. Collinson advises Linnaeus to heap some soil around the lower part of its stem, as it grows, to make new roots. It should have a rich soil and a warm location.

John BlackstoneBlackstone, John (1713-1753).
British. Botanist and apothecary,
will send Linnaeus the book that Linnaeus asked about earlier [presumably Fasciculus plantarum circa Harefield sponte nascentiumBlackstone, John Fasciculus
plantarum circa Harefield sponte
nascentium, cum appendice ad loci
historiam spectante
(London, 1737).
, see Collinson to Linnaeus, 12 September 1745Letter L0649; it might also have been Blackstone’s Specimen botanicumBlackstone, John Specimen
botanicum : quo plantarum plurium
rariorum Angliæ indigenarum loci
natales illustrantur
(London, 1746).

Hans SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloane’s collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
is still hearty and well.

Collinson reminds Linnaeus that Linnaeus had promised to send him some books, and Collinson has not received any. Now, he specifically asks for Corallia BalticaLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio,
Corallia baltica adumbrans
, diss.,
resp. H. Fougt (Uppsala 1745). Soulsby
no. 1401.
, Öländska och gothländska resaLinnaeus, Carl
Öländska och
Gothländska Resa på Riksens
högloflige ständers befallning
förrättad åhr 1741. Med
anmärkningar uti oeconomien,
natural-historien, antiquiteter &c
med åtskillige figurer

(Stockholm & Uppsala 1745). Soulsby
no. 202.
Iter Oelandicum et Gotlandicum and "Animalia Svecica" [Collinson means, “Animalia per Sveciam observata”Linnaeus, Carl “Animalia per
Sveciam observata”, ALSS 4
(1736), 97-138 [1742]. Soulsby no. 1104,
Soulsby no. 1143
], but mentions generally other books in natural history.

Collinson concludes the letter with the formal phrases of farewell. However, the text continues in what could be understood as a long postscript in four parts:

Collinson has all Linnaeus’s botanical works and also Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
, which Sloane had said is the best of them all.

Collinson is sending Linnaeus two treatises by Cadwallader ColdenColden, Cadwallader
(1688-1776). American. Physician of
Scottish origin, botanist, physicist,
politician. Lieutenant governor of New
York. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in New York. This work has met with a good reception among mathematicians in England.

Collinson lists seven kinds of shells that he wants specimens of. The list refers to numbers in Mare Balthica.

Collinson apologizes for talking freely and says that Linnaeus wants to see everything and to receive specimens of everything, but without sending anything similar in exchange. This is Collinson’s own experience over the years, and the complaint is general among scholars in natural science. Collinson tells Linnaeus this as a friend and hopes Linnaeus will receive it as a friend. Collinson thought he had to tell Linnaeus what the world thinks about him.


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 16-17). [1] [2]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 17-18   p.17  p.18.
2. “Forget not Mee & My Garden ...” (2002), p. 144 .