-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Johan Gustaf Wahlbom to Carl Linnaeus, 25 November 1752 n.s.
Dated 25. Novembr. st. n. 1752. Sent from Berlin (Germany) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Johan Gustaf WahlbomWahlbom, Johan Gustaf
(1724-1808). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist. Studied at Uppsala under
Linnaeus, anatomy, surgery and
obstretics at Wittenberg. Provincial
physician at Kalmar. Correspondent of
thanks Linnaeus for a letter that had told him that Linnaeus was in good health and that Linnaeus had not forgotten him [this letter has not come down to us]. Wahlbom gives some information about what had puzzled him in the Ipomoea and reports that he has not received the seeds of Menyanthes which his agent in Danzig was to obtain for him. Wahlbom will contact Brejn [Johann Philip BreyneBreyne, Johann Philip
(1680-1764). German/Polish. Zoologist
and physician in Danzig. Son of Jacob
Breyne. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] if he does not hear anything from Danzig. Wahlbom is not sure that Breyne will sell his collections piecemeal. The price set for the total is 2,000 dukater. Wahlbom will send Linnaeus a specimen of Erysimum Loes. He is not sure it will arrive in good condition. However, Count Henning [Henning Adolph GyllenborgGyllenborg, Henning Adolph
(1713-1775). Swedish. Count,
councillor. Student at Uppsala and
member of the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
], has received it before, and Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
may have taken some part also. Linnaeus should be able to get a specimen from Bäck.

Wahlbom is sorry that he does not have any nice, new observations to report to Linnaeus, but he is fully occupied by carving in dead bodies. Furthermore, there are not very many plants at this time of the year around Berlin. Nevertheless, Wahlbom has collected about a hundred plants around the city.

Wahlbom is glad that Species plantarum is being printed [Wahlbom refers to the first edition of Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
], but he wonders how he shall get a copy as early as possible. Johann Gottlieb GleditschGleditsch, Johann Gottlieb
(1714-1786). German. Botanist and
sylviculturist in Berlin, disciple of
Anton Wilhelm Platz and Johann Ernst
Hebenstreit, supervisor of Caspar Boseís
garden 1731-1735, professor at the
Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum in 1746.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has said that he would like to make a public announcement about it, and he is the right man to do so, since he is a friend of Linnaeus. Wahlbom has found Gleditsch to be a decent botanist although Gleditsch does talk more than he performs. After some delay, Wahlbom has seen his garden and greenhouse, and it is small and not in any good order. He has promised Linnaeus a coffee-tree next spring and seeds of Hydrophyllum, the only seeds he has. Wahlbom had met Liedbeck [Erik Gustaf LidbeckLidbeck, Erik Gustaf
(1724-1803). Swedish. Professor of
natural history and economy at Lund.
Studied under Linnaeus. Accompanied
Linnaeus as secretary on his
Västgöta journey in 1746.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] during a supper with Gleditsch, and had also made the acquaintance of Johann Gottfried ZinnZinn, Johann Gottfried
(1727-1759). German. Physician and
botanist, director of the botanical
garden of Göttingen (1753).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who had succeeded Albrecht von HallerHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in Göttingen. Wahlbom has shown the botanists in Berlin the Linnaea, so that he has no more of that plant in stock. Gleditsch had told Wahlbom that he was developing a new botanical system which would agree with Linnaeusís. Wahlbom had discussed it with him in some detail, and afterwards, Gleditsch had said nothing more about it but talked about various other details from botany and medicine, for example information about immature ananas used as a strong abortifacient in Brazil, communicated to him by a Portuguese surgeon named SanchesSanches, Portuguese. Surgeon.
through the surgeon PappelbaumPappelbaum, German. Surgeon. . There is also information about a successful treatment of haemoptysis. Zinn had contributed with the note that the English use Sucus Phytolaceae externally in the treatment of cancer. There are several references to plants in the Flora SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica,
exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus,
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
(Leiden 1745).
Soulsby no. 408.
. Gleditsch had excused himself for his neglect of the correspondence with Linnaeus but mentioned that he had sent Linnaeus 400 seeds in a letter last year [this letter has not come down to us], and he did not know if it had reached Linnaeus. Ludolph [Michael Matthias LudolffLudolff, Michael Matthias
(1705-1756). German. Professor of
botany and medicine, Berlin.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] had shown Wahlbom Joseph Pitton de TournefortísTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
nice herbarium, brought together during his travels. It is kept at the university and badly affected by pests. Wahlbom will try to look closer at it next spring, when he has received the Species plantarum. Krausen [Christian Ludwig KrauseKrause, Christian Ludwig
(?-1773?). German. Gardener, Berlin.
Author of Unterricht von der
(1773). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
] talks much and boasted about his nice drawings. Wahlbom had told him that he thought they would do only for women, which had made him angry. Wahlbom had also met Christlob MyliusMylius, Christlob (1722-1754).
German. Student of medicine, disciple of
Christian Ludwig Krause, Berlin.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who will go to Surinam at the New Year. Wahlbom thinks he is rather ignorant in natural history: He knows some mineralogy but nothing else, and he has collected plants and insects, but without a system or method. During a walk they had made together Mylius had admitted that he would not do much good and that Linnaeusís pupils travel in another way. Mylius is rather close with Ludolff and Krause, and Gleditsch does not know him. Wahlbom has also made Lehmanís [Johann Gottlieb LehmannLehmann, Johann Gottlieb
(?-1767). German. Mineralogist.
Professor of chemistry and director of
the Natural History Museum of St
Petersburg. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] acquaintance. He is a good chemist and mineralogist and works as inspector of the iron mines in Prussia. He has invited Wahlbom to a trip through Silesia next spring. Lehmann had told Wahlbom that he had written to Linnaeus but not got an answer [preserved letters from Lehmann to Linnaeus before this date are dated 20 November 1748Letter L0986 and 1 February 1751Letter L1231], so he has asked Wahlbom to help him to establish such an exchange [see Lehmann to Linnaeus, 5 February 1753Letter L1541]. Lehmann would be interested in getting specimens of Swedish minerals and is ready to send Linnaeus material in exchange. In Danzig, Wahlbom had learned to preserve a bird by taking out its intestines and let it be in a strong solution of alum for 24 hours. After that, it is taken out, dried and cleaned. The Germans are envious because Linnaeus gets so much from his pupils who travel all over the world. Wahlbom mentions 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.
and Pehr LöflingLöfling, Pehr (1729-1756).
Swedish. Botanist and explorer. Studied
under Linnaeus. Went to Spain in 1751
and took part in the Spanish expedition
to Venezuela in 1754, where he died.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and asks especially if Mårten KählerísKähler, Mårten
(1728-1773). Swedish. Physician, orator
and poet. Studied under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein. Served
as physician of the admirality at
Karlskrona. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
journey will take place. Wahlbom has heard from Bäck that Collegium MedicumCollegium Medicum, Swedish.
The Swedish Board of Physicians,
originally Collegium medicorum, in
Stockholm, was founded in 1663.
has appointed Jonas SidrénSidrén, Jonas
(1723-1799). Swedish. Physician.
Professor of medicine and anatomy at
Uppsala. Married to Wendla Borell.
Son-in-law of Anders Borell, and
brother-in-law of Anna Maria Acrel.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
to be professor of anatomy and surgery in Stockholm. Wahlbom is sorry about this, because it means that others who have waited longer will get nothing. Wahlbom has decided not to remain in Stockholm. Wahlbom would not have minded if Bergstrahl [Johan BergstralBergstral, Johan (1715-1795).
Swedish. Member of Collegium Medicum in
Stockholm in 1754.
] had been chosen instead. If the position as adjunct becomes vacant, Linnaeus should remember Ribe [Wahlbom presumably means Evald RibbenRibben, Evald (1730-1790).
Swedish. Physician. Son of Evald Ribe
the Younger.
] who is very able. There may be others with more merits, however, which Ribben will understand. If Linnaeus has an opportunity to recommend Wahlbom before Sidrén for the position in Stockholm, Wahlbom is sure Linnaeus will do so. The letter concludes with greetings to Linnaeusís wife [Sara Elisabet MoraeaMoraea, Sara Elisabet
(1716-1806). Swedish. Linnaeusís wife.
Daughter of Johan Moraeus and Elisabet
Hansdotter Moraea. Mother of Carl
Linnaeus the Younger and of Elisabeth
Christina, Louisa, Sara Christina and
Sophia Linnaea.
] and children [Carl Linnaeus the YoungerLinnaeus the Younger, Carl
(1741-1783). Swedish. Botanist. Son of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Brother of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa,
Sara Christina and Sophia Linnaea.
Attended his fatherís lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeusís
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his
, Elisabeth Christina LinnaeaBergencrantz, Elisabeth Christina
(1743-1782). Swedish. Daughter of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Sister of Carl Linnaeus the Younger and
of Louisa, Sara Christina and Sophia
Linnaea. Married to Carl Fredrik
Bergencrantz.Mother of Sara Elisabeth
, Louisa LinnaeaLinnaea, Louisa (1749-1839).
Swedish. Daughter of Carl Linnaeus and
Sara Elisabet Linnaea. Sister of Carl
Linnaeus the Younger and of Elisabeth
Christina, Sara Christina and Sophia
and Sara Christina LinnaeaLinnaea, Sara Christina
(1751-1835). Swedish. Daughter of Carl
Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Sister of Carl Linnaeus the Younger and
of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa and
Sophia Linnaea.

P. S. Wahlbom mentions that Lars BalkBalk, Lars (1726-1790).
Swedish. Provincial physician to the
north district of the county of
has come to Berlin for a month and sends Linnaeus his regards. Balk will settle his debts with Linnaeus by the next mail.


a. original holograph (LS, XVI, 161-162). [1] [2] [3]


1. "Johan Gustaf Wahlbom" (1929), p. 34-37 .