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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L2446 • Michel Adanson to Carl Linnaeus, 2 October 1758 n.s.
Dated 2.â Octobris 1758. Sent from Paris (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Viro Praenobili Celeberrimoque,
D[omino] Car[olo] Linnaeo,
Archiatr[o] Reg[io], Bot[anices] Prof[essori] Ups[aliensi],
Equit[i] aur[ato] &c.,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] Dicit
Michael Adansonus.

Desideratas diu tuas accepi, absque data, Litteras, nihilo tamen minus gratissimas. Responsum ipsis parabam, cum innumera simul impedimenta ingruerunt. Lugebamus enim carissimum Anton[ium] Jussieum, rarae virtutis, vastae eruditionis virum, et Botanices Parisinae Professorem, quem mors inopina ante diem rapuerat. Simul phlogosis oculum dextrum eumque debiliorem D[omini] B[ernhardi] Jussieui occupavit pertinax, et quidem cum magno visus periculo. Interea tempus demonstrationis Plantarum in h[orto] a[cademico] Parisiensi urgebat, unde Plantis Europaeis totum incumbere necessum fuit. Herborisationum partem in me suscepi ut amicissimum B[ernhardum] Jussieum aliquatenus sublevarem. Denique a Junio usque praesentem Octobris mensem, collectioni, exsiccationi et descriptioni Plantarum totum me dedi, domesticis insuper negotiis saepe saepius distractus. En causas, quibus adde, quod in locum Ant[onii] Jussieui Academiae decies centiesve praesentandum fuit.

Inter plurimas novas historiae Nat[uralis] observationes, quas Academiae Par[isiensi] communicaveram, descriptionem integram gen[eris] Bahobab, quam B[ernhardus] Jussieus Adansoniam dixerat, historiam dudum legeram, cum tuae ad me pervenere Litterae. B[ernhardus] Jussieus noluit me absente hujus descriptionem tibi communicare, ne mihi hanc tibi quid grati faciendi occasionem eriperet. Hujus itaque caracteris summam quam petis mitto, ex ipsis actis Acad[emiae] edendis seu potius ex meis manuscriptis Latinis excerptam, eamque juxta tuorum generum normam concinnatam coactamque. Sic in publicum mittendam censeo:

Adansonia.

Cal. Perianth. Unicum, monophyllum, semiquinquefidum, cyathiforme; laciniis revolutis, deciduum.
Cor. Petala quinque, suborbiculata, nervosa, revoluta, unguibus invicem et staminibus connata.
Stam. Filamenta numerosa (700 circiter) inferne in tubum conicum coalita, ipsum coronantia, horizontaliter patentia. Antherae reniformes, incumbentes.
Pist. Ovarium subovatum. Stylus longissimus, tubulosus, varie intortus. Stigmata 10 ad 14 prismatica, villosa, radiatim patentia.
Pericarp. Capsula ovalis maxima, lignosa non dehiscens, intus 10 ad 14 locularis, pulpa sicca et seminibus referta; dissepimentis membranaceis longitudinalibus.
Sem. numerosa, fere ossea, reniformia, pulpa friabili involuta.

Hinc vides, quantum a caeteris Malvaceis differat l° Calice statim a florescentia deciduo; 2° numero et situ filamentorum in apice tubi monadelphi. 3°. Stigmatum numero et figura. 4° Capsula lignosa non de-hiscente; ejus pulpa et loculis. 5° Foliis compositis digitatis. 6 ° denique arbore ipsa, quae omnium huc usque notarum trunco et ramis facile vastissima est, et veluti stupendum Africae monstrum in regno vegetabili. Senegal tantum pro Patria agnoscit arbor haec, unde fructus commercii causa, cum fructu Aghialid quotannis a Senegalensibus in Aegyptum transfertur. Ibi demum in quodam horto sata semina arborem unum alterumve ex P[rospero] Alpino monstrant, eumque magnitudine parum notabilem, et fortassis nondum florentem, ut ex figura Alpini in toto praeter fructum falsa conjicere licet. In Martinica Americae insula similiter una religiose servatur, jam adulta, florens et fructum ferens, a nostris quondam Nigritis sata. Haec et similia in Epicrisi ad Academiam Par[isiensem] plane demonstravi.

Alter tomus historiae nostrae Senegalis mox praelis mandandus est. Simulac prodibit, si quem cui recte committam invenero, curabo ad te nomine meo perferendum. Aves nostrae humeris spinosis ad accessum hominum clamitantes, an eaedem sint ac eae quas dixisti Charadrium spinosum, affirmare nullus datur locus, cum in tuo Systemate Nat[urae] Edit. 6â 1748, quae ultima ad nos pervenit, non reperiatur, nec magis notum sit iter allegatum Palaestinae. De altera vero, quam dicis Fulicam spinosam, non item. Certe non eadem est ac avis, quam suspicaris Edw[ardi] Tab. 48. Haec enim caruncula unica ad frontem et digito postico longissimo donatur. Nostra vero duo palearia ad faciem ante oculos gerit; digito postico brevissimo Tringae vel gallinulae instar, et colore valde differt; estque, si non genere, saltem specie distinctissima, nec ullibi, quantum novi, descripta depictave.

Ex Conchyliis nostris quae tibi desunt difficile, ne dicam impossibile, erit singula tradere, cum plurima exemplaria solitaria, vel saltem sic collecta fuerint, ut varietates notabiles proponant. Nonnulla tamen, ubi praesens indicabitur occasio, mittam lubenter, si desiderantur, uti Pietia Tab. 1 et fig. 24 et 32 Tab. 9.

Agihalid P[rosperi] Alpini non est, ut reris, Ximeniae species. Haec a Plumerio quondam in America observata in maritimis Senegalis frequens est, et staminibus 8 donata; Agihalid vero P[rosperi] Alpini, quae est Planta Senegalis indigena, demum in Aegypto [...][a][a] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] sata, decandra et dodecandra est, et generis plane novi, vix ad ullam classem naturalem Europaearum plantarum revocanda. Has itaque duas plantas in totidem genera distinctissima dispertiendas esse ex propria autopsia constat. Notare interim debeo, quod ex omnibus fere generibus exoticis a peregrinatoribus antea constitutis, similia fere dicenda sint, cum vix ullum certe et bene descriptum, vel caractere generico proprio solide statutum sit, saltem quoad centum et plura genera Americana vel Indica, quae in Senegalensi peregrinatione observare contigit. Centum alia plane nova genera obtulit idem clima, orbi Botanico certe ob novitatem non dedignanda.

Salutem tibi plurimam nunciat B[ernhardus] Jussieus. Quod autem me de civitate academica Upsaliensi donando, te pro viribus facturum polliceris, tibi grates rependo; summo enim teneor desiderio cum hac vestra celeberrima academia commercia litteraria inire quoad observationes historiae Nat[uralis] Europaeas; quod enim Senegalenses spectat, manus, ut intellexisti per Prospectus nostros, habeo pridem cum publico ligatas. Interea vestrae favori amicitiaeque simul me commendans huic finem inscribam. Vale itaque, vir clarissime!

Dabam Parisiis 2â Octobris 1758.

A Monsieur / Monsieur Linnaeus Professeur / de Medecine et de Botanique; des Academies / de Stockolm, Upsal, Berlin &c. / à Upsal

upSUMMARY

Michel AdansonAdanson, Michel (1727-1806).
French. Botanist. Travelled in Senegal.
An opponent of Linnaeus. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
had received a letter from Linnaeus [this letter has not come down to us] and expresses his thanks. He had planned to send an answer much earlier, but he has had other things to do.

First, Antoine de JussieuJussieu, Antoine de
(1686-1758). French. Botanist,
professor of botany, Paris. Brother of
Bernard and Joseph de Jussieu. Joseph
Pitton de Tournefort’s successor. Uncle
of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had died, unexpectedly. At the same time, an eye disease had prevented Bernhard de JussieuJussieu, Bernard de
(1699-1777). French. Professor of
botany, brother of Antoine and Joseph de
Jussieu. Demonstrator at the Jardin des
plantes. Sébastien Vaillant’s
successor. Uncle of Antoine Laurent de
Jussieu. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
from fulfilling his duties in Académie royale des sciencesAcadémie royale des sciences,
Paris,
French. The French
Académie des sciences was founded
in 1666 and became a royal academy in
1699. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
at a time when there were to be excursions and demonstrations of European plants. During the summer, plants were to be collected, prepared and described, together with all other domestic work and a lot of presentations to the Académie.

Among the new observations sent from Sénégal, there was a description of Adansonia, by Adanson called Bahobab. It was Jussieu who had given it the name Charadrium spinosum Adansonia, and he had not sent Linnaeus the description since he thought that Adanson had better do that himself. Now, Adanson sends all the details, taken from his manuscript to the Académie and arranged according to Linnaeus’s principles [the description was published three years later, “Description d`un arbre”Adanson, Michel “Description
d'un arbre d`un nouveau genre,
apellé Baobab, observé au
Sénégal”,
Mémoires de
l´Académie royale des
sciences
(1761), 218-243.
].

Adanson is about to send the second part of his work on Sénégal to the printer [Adanson refers to Histoire naturelle du SénégalAdanson, Michel Histoire
naturelle du Sénégal.
Coquillages. Avec la relation
abrégée d'un voyage fait
en ce pays, pendant les années
1749, 50, 51, 52 & 53, etc.

(Paris 1757).
]. Linnaeus will receive a copy when it is ready [vol. 2 was never published].

Adanson has had trouble with the determination of a bird that resembles one that Linnaeus calls Charadrium spinosum. One reason is that Adanson only has Systema naturae, 6th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 7th edition (Leipzig 1748).
Soulsby no. 52.
, and not a newer edition of it. Also the one that Linnaeus calls Fulica spinosa is not certain, and Adanson specifies the differences in some detail.

Adanson can not comply with Linnaeus’s wish for shells and mussels, since they show so many individual variations. However, he will send some when there is an opportunity.

Adanson remarks that Agihalid is not a species of Ximenia as believed by Linnaeus. Adanson specifies the differences, and he has seen it in Sénégal and Egypt. It is definitely a new genus and not to be combined with any class of European plants. On the whole, he remarks that previous publications of exotic plants tend to prove unreliable when compared with what you see in their original locations.

Adanson forwards regards from Bernard de Jussieu.

Adanson is grateful that Linnaeus has promised to work on his becoming a member of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Uppsala,
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
], with which he would be glad to exchange observations on the natural history of Europe. On the other hand, Adanson is not free to handle the material from Sénégal, as he is bound by his patrons.

Other persons mentioned: Prosper AlpiniAlpini, Prosper (1553-1617).
Italian. Botanist and physician.
and Charles PlumierPlumier, Charles (1646-1704).
French. Botanist, travelled in Central
America and the Carribean. Linnaeus
generally approved of the descriptions
in his richly illustrated botanical
works.
.

[2004-07-11]

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, I, 3-4). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 467-471   p.467  p.468  p.469  p.470  p.471.
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 3-6   p.3  p.4  p.5  p.6.

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [manuscript damaged]