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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 8 May 1753 n.s.
Dated May 8:1753. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.


Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has not heard from Linnaeus for a very long time. However, from friends in Sweden, he has heard about Linnaeusís health and his discoveries in natural history. Hans SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloaneís collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
had died on January 11 at the age of 93. His collection will be purchased by the British Parliament for 20,000 pounds. It will be open to the public.

Collinson reminds Linnaeus that Linnaeus had ordered three books by Mark CatesbyCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[Collinson refers to Catesbyís The Natural history of CarolinaCatesby, Mark The Natural
history of Carolina, Florida and the
Bahama Islands: containing the figures
of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents,
insects and plants: particularly the
forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants,
not hitherto described, or very
incorrectly figured by authors. Together
with their descriptions in English and
French. To which are added observations
on the air, soil, and wate: with remarks
upon agriculture, grain, pulse, roots,
&c. To the whole is prefixed a new
and correct map of the countries treated
, I-II (London 1731-1743).
] for Charles De GeerDe Geer, Charles (1720-1778).
Swedish. Entomologist and natural
history collector, Leufsta Bruk. Member
of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
in Stockholm and Académie des
sciences, Paris. Corresponded with
Réaumur, Bonnet and other
naturalists. Husband of Catharina
Charlotta Ribbing and father of Emanuel
De Geer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who only wanted two of them and paid for them. The third volume would go to the library of the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
] as Linnaeus had informed Collinson, and there would be an order for copies of the two other volumes on behalf of the Society. If Linnaeus had asked Collinson to take care of this affair, there would have been no mistakes, but as it is Collinson has not yet been paid for the one volume that the Society bought.

Collinson describes what actually happened. Gottfried KiesewetterKiesewetter, Gottfried (?-?).
?. Academy bookseller 1735-1757,
publisher of Linnaeusís Philosophia
had written to a bookseller Robinson [presumably George RobinsonRobinson, George (1737-1801).
British. Bookseller, London.
, unknown to Collinson. When Collinson got a letter from Kiesewetter explaining this, Collinson had seen Robinson, who said he received books in return but delivered a complete set afterwards. Kiesewetter says he returned one volume through Jennings & FinlayFinlay & Jennings,
Swedish. Trading company, Stockholm.
Conducted by Robert Finlay, Frans
Jennings and his son John Jennings.
to a bookseller in England, whose name he could not give. Collinson is sure the book was lost, since Robinson has not received it, and if it had come to Collinson, it would have settled Linnaeusís debt.

Now, Linnaeus owes Collinson two guineas for one volume as De Geer kept two volumes [of Catesbyís work] and returned the third part to Linnaeus

Collinson reports that Linnaeus was elected a member of the Royal SocietyRoyal Society, London,
British. The Royal Society was founded
in Oxford in 1645 and sanctioned as a
royal society in 1662.
at its last meeting, and that he hopes soon to be able to greet Linnaeus officially. Collinson has worked for this for a long time, an honour which Linnaeus has long merited.

Collinson has tried to find Xantoxilon, a tree described by Catesby, in Linnaeusís works, but he has not found it.

Collinson encloses Claytonís character of Stuartiae [Stewartia], written on a separate sheet [This is dated Virginia, 17 March, 1753, but it seems as if only the latter part of the page is written by Clayton, the first paragraphs and the date is written by Collinson] . It is very interesting and exact.

P.S. 1. Collinson mentions that Philip MillerMiller, Philip (1691-1771).
British. Gardener of the Chelsea Physic
Garden. Corresponded with many
botanists. His rich herbarium was sold
to Joseph Banks. Correspondent of
has published a new edition of his dictionary [Collinson refers to the The Gardeners Dictionary, 6th ed. Miller, Philip The Gardeners
Dictionary : Containing, the methods of
cultivating and improving the kitchen,
flower, fruit, and pleasure garden;
wherein all the articles contained in
the former editions of this work, in two
volumes, are disposed in one alphabet:
With the Addition of a great Number of
Plants. The sixth edition; carefully
revised; And Adapted to the Present
, 6th ed. (London [1752]).
]. It is a large volume in folio, and costs two pounds, eight shillings.

P. S. 2. Collinson ends the letter by repeating in the form of a table the account of the sale of Catesbyís three volumes, resulting in Linnaeus owing Collinson two guineas.


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 28-30). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 25   p.25.