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Link: • Pehr Kalm to Carl Linnaeus, 10 December 1749 n.s.
Dated 29 Nov. 1749. Sent from Philadelphia (USA) 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.
writes this joint letter to Linnaeus and 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.
in haste; a ship will leave in less than two hours, and before that he must also write to Abraham SpaldingSpalding, Abraham (1712-1782).
Swedish. Merchant, London, in
partnership with Gustaf Brander.
in London. Kalm hopes that Linnaeus and Bielke have received his letters from Canada and New York. In his letter from New York he explained why he had decided to stay another year in America. As the the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
] had not guaranteed money for a prolonged stay, Spalding was unwilling to forward money to Kalm. Linnaeus’s and Bielke’s letter of July 1748, in which they promised money for him, did not impress him. Circumstances have now forced Kalm to ask Spalding to lend him 60 pounds. Peter KockKock, Peter (d. 1749).
Swedish. Sergeant in the Swedish army
under Charles XII. Emigrated to America
where he became a merchant, trustee and
vestryman of the Lutheran congregation
in Vicacoa.
, whom Spalding had instructed to advance money to Kalm, according to his needs, died suddenly. His heirs did not know anything about this agreement and refused to give money to Kalm, which worsened his situation. In the meantime he was helped economically by Anna Margareta SandinSandin, Anna Margareta
(1722-1787). Swedish. Wife of Johan
Sandin, then of Pehr Kalm.
, widow of late Johan SandinSandin, Johan (?-1748).
Swedish. Clergyman in New Jersey.
Husband of Anna Margareta Sandin in her
first marriage.
, who has lent Kalm money until Spalding sends more. When Kalm came back to Philadelphia, he received Linnaeus’s letter of 16 March [this letter has not come down to us] that contained wonderful news. What a relief to him that the Academy of Sciences now supports a prolonged sojourn in America! He will send a copy of it to Spalding, and then his financial problems will be over. Kalm is grateful for Linnaeus’s advice and reminders. Polygala, or rattlesnake root, is not available; it is only found from Virginia and south, but he has asked John ClaytonClayton, John (1685-1773).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born i England, moved to
Virginia in North America in 1715. His
herbarium collected in Virginia was
published by Johan Frederik Gronovius
and Linnaeus in Flora Virginica
(1739, 1743). Correspondent of Linnaeus.
to send seeds and roots. Nor does Laurus, called benzoin, grow in these latitudes. Liquidambar is called ”Sweet gum” by the English and Diospyros, it grows in the woods where there is stagnant water. Liquidambar yields small quantities of a fragrant resin. Linaneus has written that the Academy of Sciences wants Kalm to go to Hudson Bay. This is almost impossible to do: 1. No ships go there from where Kalm lives, 2. The Eskimo living there kill everybody who ventures to come near them, 3. All reports agree that it is five time worse than Lapland; people there live on meat and berries. Nor does Kalm want to be scalped by the Indians which now happens all the time, according to the newspapers. The temperature is 10-13 below zero in the morning and 9-10 at noon. What, then, will it be like up there in the north? Finally, Kalm cannot go there without a pass from the King of France [Louis XVLouis XV, (1710-1774).
French. Reigned 1715-1774.

Soon a ship will depart with lots of seeds and a report to the Academy of Sciences, and more will follow in the spring, because of safety reasons Kalm will spread his findings on different ships.


a. (LS, VIII, 22-23). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1922), vol. I:8, p. 48-51   p.48  p.49  p.50  p.51.