-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Pehr Osbeck to Carl Linnaeus, 25 October 1752 n.s.
Dated 14. Oct. 1752. Sent from Göteborg (Sweden) to (). Written in Swedish.


Pehr OsbeckOsbeck, Pehr (1723-1805).
Swedish. Clergyman, botanist explorer.
Studied at Uppsala under Linnaeus
1745-1750. Chaplain on ships of the
Swedish East India Company on voyages to
China. Vicar of Hasslöv (Halland).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
reports that it is very difficult to collect plants in China. Osbeck had found three places near Canton along the river, where he had managed to collect some specimens, but he had sometimes risked his clothes, his money or even his life. It is impossible to bring books, but you have to rake together what you can and hurry away. Fortunately, Osbeck had been able to note what was necessary with his pencil and the notebook in his pocket.

Sometimes, Osbeck had been able to collect on a small island called Frans Eylant, where the French ships used to load. It was very dangerous there too, although the Chinese have paths between the rice fields.

Osbeck had ventured farther inland, but he often had stones thrown at him, some even as large as his head. He had had to flee, and he was lucky to be a fast runner. One stone had hit his heel, but if the thrower had been stronger, Osbeck could have been killed. Once, he had to defend himself against a Chinese who tried to rip his buckles from his trousers, other times against gangs of boys and elders. There is no place in the world where it is more difficult to collect plants than Canton.

In Java, he had gone into the forest, where only a half-witted native had dared to follow him because of the tigers and other animals. There, as in Asuncion, the heat had been the worst. Those on board ship do not suffer more than a quarter of that.

Anyway, when Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
appears, it will be a pleasure to travel.

Osbeck gives a short character of a plant, in Latin, and ends by asking what it could be.


a. (LS, XI, 308-309). [1] [2] [3]


1. “Linnés korrespondens med Pehr Osbeck” (1974), p. 114-115   p.114  p.115.