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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Johannes Burman, 12 October 1759 n.s.
Dated 12 octobr. 1759. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.


Linnaeus is very pleased to have received a letter yesterday [25 September 1759Letter L2563] from Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.

The second part of Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
was published long ago [the 10th edition was published in two volumes, “Animalia” 1758 and “Vegetabilia” 1759. The third volume, “Mineralia” was never published] but the fourth part of Amoenitates academicaeLinnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
, I-X (Stockholm
1749-1790). Soulsby no. 1280.
is still in preparation and will be ready in a month.

Linnaeus is eagerly waiting for Burman’s gifts from the Cape of Good Hope. He has made a very large bed in his garden where he grows the Cape plants. They make him happier than other plants this year. He hopes to receive Cape plants, bulbs and insects in a year from a man who will be returning from there. He will add those from Burman to them since nothing is more pleasing in Flora’s army.

Linnaeus asks if Job Baster’sBaster, Job (1711-1775).
Dutch. Naturalist, doctor of medicine,
Leiden. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
work [Linnaeus refers to Opuscula subsecivaBaster, Job Opuscula
subseciva, observationes miscellaneas de
animalculis et plantis quibusdam
marinis, eorumque ovariis et seminibus
, 2 vol. (Haarlem,
] deals with small marine animals and plants. Baster published something similar in the Philosophical Transactions that he sent Linnaeus [Linnaeus refers to Baster’s “Observationes de corallinis”Baster, Job “Observationes de
corallinis”, Philosophical
, 50:1 (1757), 257-280.

Linnaeus congratulates Burman’s son [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeus’s pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] and wishes him every happiness for the future.

Linnaeus has received living Chinese goldfishes and an “orang-outang” Homo sylvestris infans.

The Swedish queen’s [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.
] insect collection is being drawn in colour[Icones insectorum rariorum Clerck, Carl Alexander Icones
insectorum rariorum cum nominibus eorum
trivialibus, locisqve e C: Linnaei [...
] Syst: nat: allegatis
, 2 vol.,
(Stockholm 1759-1765).
]. It is an amazing collection, particularly of Indian butterflies.

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.
is publishing scarabs that he has drawn in beautiful colours [Linnaeus refers to Memoires pour servir a l’histoire des insectesDe Geer, Charles Memoires
pour servir a l'histoire des
, 8 vol. (Stockholm

Linnaeus comments on the 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
illustrations [Linnaeus refers to Burman’s editing of the Plantarum Americanarum fasciculus primus[-decimus]Plumier, Charles Plantarum
Americanarum fasciculus primus[-decimus]
continens plantas, quas olim C.
Plumierius [...] detexit, eruitque,
atque in insulis Antillis ipse depinxit.
Has primum in lucem edidit, concinnis
descriptionibus & observationibus,
aeneisque tabulis illustravit J.
(Amsterdam 1755-1760).

Linnaeus is anxious to see Burman’s son’s [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeus’s pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] Specimen botanicorum de geraniisBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Specimen botanicum de geraniis
(Leiden 1759).

Linnaeus is engaged daily in preparing the third part of Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
dealing with stones [The third volume, “Mineralia” was never published].

English pirates have stolen insects sent to Linnaeus from Provence.

Linnaeus has received a living monkey, a Simia jacchus.

A Wachendorfia has grown up from Burman’s seeds. Linnaeus wishes that Burman’s ship would arrive soon.

Linnaeus has seen that a new edition of the Systema naturae [Systema naturae, 9th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 9th edition, ed. J. F.
Gronovius (Leiden 1756). Soulsby no. 57.
] has been published in Leiden, but under an unlucky star, since the important trivial names are missing.


a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnes arkiv, 1401-1404). [1] [2] [3] [4]


1. Epistolae ineditae Caroli Linnaei (1830), p. 34-37 .
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 142-145   p.142  p.143  p.144  p.145.