-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Fredrik Hasselquist to Carl Linnaeus, 29 January 1750 n.s.
Dated 29 Jan. 1750. Sent from Smyrna (Syria) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Fredrik HasselquistHasselquist, Fredrik
(1722-1752). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist, explorer. Studied under
Linnaeus and Lars Roberg 1741-1749. Went
to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus,
Rhodes and the island of Chios. Died
near Smyrna. Son of Magnus and Helena
Maria Hasselquist, brother of Andreas
Hasselquist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has been informed of a ship destined for Palestine, so he hastens to write to Linnaeus.

He is sorry that time does not admit of enclosing his reports and descriptions.

Two new species of Tetrao, hardly described before, are the so called Francolini and the ”Poulle des montagnes”. Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
has described the first one in his journey reports [Hasselquist refers to Relation d’un voyageTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
Relation d´un voyage du Levant,
fait par ordre du Roy. Contenant
l'Histoire Ancienne & Moderne de
plusieurs Isles de'l'Archipel, de
Constantinople, des Côtes de la
Mer Noire, de l'Armenie, de la Georgie,
des Frontières de Perse & de
l'Asie Mineure
(Paris, 1717).

He has got a starling, black and grey, singing wonderfully.

He also has a white Abyssinian turtle dove.

He has also a stuffed pelican (Onocratulus). He has seen all the Swedish sea-birds. Anders Rydelius Anders RydeliusRydelius, Anders Swedish.
Swedish consul at Smyrna, where he met
Fredrik Hasselquist. Correspondent of
is interested in collecting birds and is now trying to get ostriches and other rare birds from Egypt, all of which he will send to Sweden.

Gazella Africana [Capra Gazella] is a beautiful animal, like a roe. There are many of these in the mountains of Palestine and Syria, but Hasselquist thinks they resemble Cervus, reindeers, in the first hand and refers to Fauna SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Fauna Svecica
sistens animalia Sveciae regni:
quadrupedia, aves, amphibia, pisces,
insecta, vermes, distributa per classes
& ordines, genera & species. Cum
differentiis specierum, synonymis
autorum, nominibus incolarum, locis
habitationum, descriptionibus
(Leiden 1746). Soulsby
no. 1152.

Jackals (Chacal) [Canis aureus L.], ref. to the Systema naturae [presumably to the sixth edition, Systema naturae, 6th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
6th edition (Stockholm,
1748). Soulsby no. 51.
] are common and not very popular, Hasselquist plans to shoot one of them in order to describe it fully and completely. He has collected plants and encloses one of them that seems to be a new species.

Hasselquist has not forgotten to look for verification of the water decrease; in fact he even has evidence which are quite clear and more distinct than [observations] from other places. At the first opportunity Hasselquist will send [a description] of this evidence to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
; most of the observations Hasselquist made were later published in his Iter Palaestinum eller resa til heliga landetHasselquist, Fredrik Iter
Palaestinum eller resa til heliga
(Stockholm 1757).

The weather is extremely cold in Smyrna. Thick ice covers the harbour, and Dutch people are skating there. The oldest people in Smyrna cannot remember such an enduring cold.

For Hasselquist, who is used to Swedish chill, should not usually care about this, but here there are no Swedish tile stove [in Swedish: ”kakelugn”]; so Hasselquist is sitting at a poor coal-fire and writing this letter, so he is freezing more in thos country than he ever did in Sweden.

He does not know when exactly the patriarch, with whom he will travel to Jersualem, will leave. He believes he will stay in Smyrna another month and is hoping to have a reply from Linnaeus of his first letter [Hasselquist to Linnaeus, 27 December 1749Letter L1077] and with that also information from Linnaeus about financial support.


a. (LS, VI, 319-320). [1] [2] [3]