Alexander Garden to Carl Linnaeus,
2 January 1760 n.s.
L2669. Alexander GardenAlexander Garden (1730-1791).
Alexander GardenGarden, Alexander (1730-1791).
Garden asks Linnaeus not to believe too much in John Ellis’sEllis, John (1711-1776).
Garden answers Linnaeus’s comments on the suggested Ellisia and refutes its determination as a Swertia. He gives details which are against that. Furthermore, its taste – as taken from a dried specimen – is more Nicotiana than Gentiana, and its general view is also more Nicotiana. Garden sends Linnaeus a twig of the plant and asks for Linnaeus’s opinion after a repeated examination. Garden will be pleased to be corrected by Linnaeus.
Garden will give attention to the collection of insects and to the reptiles in the next summer, as Linnaeus requested. – Garden had been somewhat surprised at the request on the fish, but anyhow, he had collected as many as possible, had had their skin taken off so that Linnaeus would not receive only a bare description, and had tried to make a description of the species. He stresses that the illustrations found in Mark Catesby’sCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
Garden does not have Catesby’s work complete, so he does not know if all the fishes he sends are listed there. He has had to be content to attach a tag to each specimen with a number and the vernacular name of the fish, and from there, it will be easy to combine the character and the specimen.
Garden wants to be informed about the final characters of these fishes, or a method for their handling, and their final names. He has been very stimulated by this task to devote himself to the study of fishes and hopes Linnaeus will help him to keep this interest alive.
Garden concludes with a character of a beautiful bush, found for the first time three years previously in a wet and shady place. He encloses a dried specimen and asks Linnaeus to give it a worthy name and to include it in Systema naturae in its proper place.