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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Pehr Osbeck, 20 January 1756 n.s.
Dated d. 20 jan 1756. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to (). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus had not seen the tropic bird, and he had thought it could be a young “Pelecano piscatore” [NB! The name is in Italian!]. However, 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.
is probably right:i It must be the tropic bird, well rendered by Edward and to some extent also by Calesby.

The small bird must be the wryneck.

Linnaeus will go incognito to Stockholm in a few days to see some birds. Osbeck can meet him in the house of the College of Military Defense [Krigskollegium], number 144, opposite the little church, and in there in the corner room inside the door.

Osbeck’s travel report should be published at once [the travel report was published in 1757, Dagbok öfwer en ostindisk resa Osbeck, Pehr Dagbok
öfwer en ostindisk resa åren
1750. 1751. 1752. Med anmärkningar
uti naturkunnigheten, främmande
folkslags språk, seder,
hushållning, m.m. [...] Jämte
12 tabeller och afledne
skepps-predikanten : Toréns
(Stockholm 1757).
]. Linnaeus wishes that it had been printed already. He asks to be permitted to write a verdict on it.

Linnaeus tentatively identifies one of the birds he had got from Osbeck as Passer stultus Hernandes. However, all marine birds seem to be stulti [foolish] and do not avoid human beings.

Linnaeus will tell Osbeck more when they meet. However, Linnaeus will only be that one day in Stockholm.


a. original holograph (KVA). [1]