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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Johan Gustaf Wahlbom, 19 December 1752 n.s.
Dated 1752 d 8 Dec.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Berlin (Germany). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus thanks 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
for his letter of 25 November [1752]Letter L1501. He is very pleased with what he learns about Wahlbom’s contact with the Germans.

He also thanks Wahlbom for the Erysimum, of which he got both a living specimen and seeds.

Linnaeus thinks 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 Bose’s
garden 1731-1735, professor at the
Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum in 1746.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is one of the best botanists in Germany. He had sent Linnaeus more than fifty seeds some years earlier. Linnaeus hopes Wahlbom can get Hydrophyllum from him. Linnaeus is satisfied with Wahlbom’s advice to Gleditsch in Umbellatis.

Linnaeus comments also about three medical observations that Wahlbom had made in his letter. He does not agree in all of them. The vis abortiva in immature ananas is well known in the East India. What is said about treatment in haemoptysis, a view held by the Stahliani [Linnaeus refers to the adherents of Georg Ernst StahlStahl, Georg Ernst (1660-1734).
German. Physician and chemist.
Professor of medicine at Halle. From
1715 president of the Collegium medicum
in Berlin. One of the leaders of early
eighteenth-century vitalism.
], Linnaeus will not decide until he has seen it demonstrated. As to Sucus Phytolaceae in the treatment of cancer, it is already used in Italy, where experiments have been made, which will eliminate other treatments.

Linnaeus wonders how Joseph Pitton de Tournefort’sTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
herbarium had got to Berlin. Linnaeus thinks it could be Tournefort’s companion on his oriental journey, Gundelscheimer [Andreas von GundelsheimerGundelsheimer, Andreas von
(1668-1715). German.
Physician-in-ordinary. Accompanied
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort during his
travels to the Orient.
], who had arranged it. If it contains the specimens behind Tournefort’s Corollarium Institutionum rei herbariaeTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
Corollarium Institutionum rei
herbariae, in quo plantae 1356
munificentia Ludovici Magni in
orientalibus regionibus observatae
recensentur & ad genera sua
(Paris 1703).
, it is important that Wahlbom sees it and can get the specific characteristics of the species. Linnaeus is ready to send Wahlbom specific questions to facilitate Wahlbom’s studies of the material.

Christlob MyliusMylius, Christlob (1722-1754).
German. Student of medicine, disciple of
Christian Ludwig Krause, Berlin.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
journey will not reduce the importance of the journeys of Linnaeus’s pupils.

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.
has sent Linnaeus more than 600 rare plants [see letters from Osbeck from 1751 and the whole of 1752], more than from 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.
, and last summer 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.
has sent Linnaeus 540 from Spain and Portugal [see Löfling to Linnaeus, 7 August 1751Letter L1299].

The Queen [Lovisa UlrikaLovisa Ulrika, (1720-1782).
Swedish. Queen of Sweden 1751-1771.
Married to Adolf Fredrik. Mother of
Gustav III. Sister of Fredric II of
Prussia. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] has paid 15,000 daler for Fredrik Hasselquist’sHasselquist, 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.
collections. Linnaeus has thanked her, and then went to Carl Gustaf TessinTessin, Carl Gustaf
(1695-1770). Swedish. Count, important
politician and patron of science and
art. He supported Swedish artists and
scientists and collected art, books and
natural history objects. He assisted
Linnaeus’s career in many ways. Married
to Lovisa Ulrica Tessin. Uncle to
Fredrik Sparre. Correspondent of
. [The collection was bought to Sweden by the Queen on the request from Linnaeus and executed by Tessin].

Linnaeus comments on three specimens that Wahlbom had sent him: the twig from the Orangery sent by Gleditsch must be Lantana foliis alternis sessilibus, floribus solitariis. There is a reference to Hortus CliffortianusLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Cliffortianus, plantas exhibens quas in
hortis tam vivis quam siccis Hartecampi
in Hollandia coluit [...] Georgius
(Amsterdam 1737). Soulsby
no. 328.

The specimen Orobus was destroyed, which makes it hard for Linnaeus to determine, but it might be Vicia cassubica or Vicia pedunculis multifloris. There is a reference to Hortus Cliffortianus.

Selinum is a small specimen with a very small leaf. Linaneus says there is no doubt it must be Sium foliolis linearibus decurrentibus connatis or Falcarfia.There are references to Hortus Cliffortianus and to Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.

Linnaeus had been in Stockholm a week earlier and heard the news about 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.
being appointed professor of anatomy. He had told them what he thought about it, and he had mentioned Wahlbom. Linnaeus will go to Stockholm again in a week, and he will return to the issue then.

Linnaeus encloses a letter [this letter has not come down to us] to Lehman [Johann Gottlieb LehmannLehmann, Johann Gottlieb
(?-1767). German. Mineralogist.
Professor of chemistry and director of
the Natural History Museum of St
Petersburg. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] .Linnaeus also recommends Wahlbom as much as he can, since he is very attached to Wahlbom, but he does not think he can recommend Ribe [Evald RibbenRibben, Evald (1730-1790).
Swedish. Physician. Son of Evald Ribe
the Younger.
] if Sidrén goes away and Wahlbom does not want to stay in Stockholm.

If Mårten Kähler’sKähler, 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.
does not go to the Cape of Good Hope, he will go to Guinea or elsewhere. There is much to see everywhere. If Kähler had been more cautious, he would already have gone.

Linnaeus sends his greetings to Lars BalkBalk, Lars (1726-1790).
Swedish. Provincial physician to the
north district of the county of

Nils Rosén von RosensteinRosén von Rosenstein, Nils
(1706-1773). Swedish. Physician
and professor of medicine. Colleague of
Linnaeus at Uppsala. The founder of
modern pediatrics. Correspondent of
had twins last Wednesday, a boy [Nils von RosensteinRosenstein, Nils von
(1752-1824). Swedish. Son of Anna
Christina and Nils Rosén von
Rosenstein. Brother of Anna Margareta
Aurivillius and Johanna Maria
Rosén von Rosenstein.
] and a girl [Johanna Maria Rosen von RosensteinRosen von Rosenstein, Johanna Maria
(1752-1756). Swedish. Daughter of
Anna Christina and Nils Rosén
von Rosenstein. Sister of Anna Margareta
Aurivillius and Nils von Rosenstein.

Bäck will become president of Collegium MedicumCollegium Medicum, Swedish.
The Swedish Board of Physicians,
originally Collegium medicorum, in
Stockholm, was founded in 1663.
after Evald RibeRibe, Evald (1701-1752).
Swedish. Surgeon. President of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Brother of
Carl Frederik Ribe.
. Nobody else will apply for that position.

Linnaeus asks Wahlbom to study the “Herbarium Japonicum” kept in Berlin. Linnaeus has just obtained two volumes of a herbarium, printed in China with about 700 or 800 pictures of plants, and he wonders if the “Herbarium Japonicum” is something similar.

Linnaeus gives Wahlbom five specific questions that Wahlbom shall investigate in Tournefort’s herbarium.


a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnés arkiv). [1] [2] [3] [4]


1. Egenhändiga anteckningar (1823), p. 179-183   p.179  p.180  p.181  p.182  p.183.
2. "Johan Gustaf Wahlbom" (1929), p. 37-39 .