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Link: • David de Gorter to Carl Linnaeus, 21 November 1758 n.s.
Dated 10 Nov. S. V. 1758.. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Four days ago David de GorterGorter, David de (1707 or
1717-1783). Dutch. Botanist and
physician. Succeeded his father Johannes
de Gorter as physician-in-ordinary to
the Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Son of
Susanna de Gorter, brother of Herman
Boerhaave de Gorter. Correspondent of
received Linnaeus’s letter dated 20 October [1758; this letter has not come down to us]. Gorter is grateful for the specimens of the plant of a new genus that Linnaeus has named Gorteria. Gorter would also like to receive seeds of Gorteria, if Linnaeus has any. In his Alm. [Almagestum botanicumPlukenet, Leonard Almagestum
botanicum, sive Phytographiae
Plukenetianae onomasticon methodo
synthetica digestum exhibens stirpium
exoticarum, rariorum, novarumque nomina,
quae descriptionis locum supplere
(London 1696).
] Leonard PlukenetPlukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
has referred this plant to the Cardui.

Next spring Gorter will send Linnaeus live plants of Cimicifuga and Rheum. Gorter sends the seeds of Rheum which he collected during this year. He will also give the only dried specimen that he has to the Swedish legate [presumably DelphinDelphin, Swedish. Swedish
Consul, St. Petersburg.
], who will hand it over to somebody who will leave for Sweden in eight days. Gorter will also send with the same person a beautiful species of a rare American bird, which should be referred to the Pari. It has not yet been described.

Gorter has seen the part of Linnaeus’s Systema naturae that is being printed [Gorter obviously refers to the Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
, which was published in two volumes, “Animalia” 1758 and “Vegetabilia” 1759]. He wishes to have this precious work together with Pehr Löfling’sLöfling, 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.
itinerary [de Gorter refers to Iter Hispanicum, eller resa til spanska länderna uti Europa och AmericaLöfling, Pehr Iter
Hispanicum, eller resa til spanska
länderna uti Europa och America

(Stockholm 1758).

Unfortunately, Gorter has not yet received the package that Linnaeus had left in Stockholm.

Gorter eagerly awaits Linnaeus’s explanation of the sexuality of plants. There is nobody who can explain this better than Linnaeus. The Imperial Academy of Sciences of St Petersburg, Imperatorskaja akademija naukImperatorskaja akademija nauk,
Imperial Academy of Sciences

Russian. Imperial Academy of Sciences of
St Petersburg, founded in 1725. Its
publications are Commentarii
Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis
, 1-14 (1726 -
1744/1746 [i.e. pub. 1728 - 1751]) and
Novi Commentarii Academiae
Scientiarum Imperialis
, 1-20 (1747/1748 -
1775 [i.e. pub. 1750 - 1776]).
has never received a work on this matter.

It will be very exciting for Gorter to receive a live Peloria.

Johann Christian HebenstreitHebenstreit, Johann Christian
(1720-1795). German. Botanist, son of
Johann Ernst Hebenstreit, educated at
Leipzig. At St Petersburg from 1749-1751
and 1755-1761. Correspondent of
and Joseph Gottlieb KolreuterKolreuter, Joseph Gottlieb
(1733-1806). German. Botanist,
published a pioneering work on plant
are the only ones working with botany in Russia. These two gentleman are very sorry that the Academy Garden is so impoverished. There are more Siberian plants in the Uppsala University Botanical Garden than in the Academy Garden. Many plants have died during the last four years. Gorter has, for instance, seen neither Johann Amman’sAmman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
Hypecoum nor Ceratocarpus. Several other plants are mentioned and there are many references to Sp. pl. [Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
]. However, Veronica spicata altissima foliis verticillatim dispositis described by Amman in vol. IV [de Gorter refers to Amman’s Stirpium rariorum in imperio Rutheno sponte provenientium icones et descriptiones collectaeAmman, Johann Stirpium
rariorum in imperio Rutheno sponte
provenientium icones et descriptiones
collectae [...] Instar supplementi ad
Commentar. acad. scient. imper.
(St Petersburg 1739).
] and a few others still grow in the Academy Garden. That year Agave 1 flowered at the Empress’s [Elisabet PetrovnaPetrovna Romanova, Elizabeth
(1709-1762). Russian. Empress of
Russia. Reigned from 1741-1762.
] Zarski Selo [Tsarskoe Selo= the residence of the imperial family], of which there are a description and illustration in the Commentaries of the Petersburg Academy [de Gorter refers to the Novi CommentariiImperatorskaja akademija nauk,
Imperial Academy of Sciences

Novi Commentarii Academiae
Scientiarum Imperialis
(St Petersburg,
1747/1748 - 1775 [i.e. pub. 1750 -
], IV or V, by Abram EnsEns, Abram (?-1770). Dutch.
Doctor of medicine at Leiden and
Utrecht, later in Russia.
. These two volumes will soon appear (there are no descriptions or illustrations by Ens in volume IV and V].

Two plants of Musa also flowered in the Academy Garden that year. Gorter examined the flowers and found them to be exactly as the ones described in Linnaeus’s Musa CliffortianaLinnaeus, Carl Musa
Cliffortiana florens Hartecampi 1736
prope Harlemum
(Leiden 1736).

Gorter is very pleased with Gerhard Friedrich Müller’sMüller, Gerhard Friedrich
(1705-1783). German. Historian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.


a. original holograph (LS, V, 98-99). [1] [2] [3]