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Link: • Alexander Garden to Carl Linnaeus, 12 April 1761 n.s.
Dated Pridie Idus aprilis - 1761 -. Sent from Charlestown (USA) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Alexander GardenGarden, Alexander (1730-1791).
British/American. Doctor of medicine,
South Carolina. Correspondent of
excuses himself for bothering Linnaeus with another letter before he has received an answer to his previous one, but he had got a last chance before autumn to send material to Linnaeus, since a ship was ready to sail for Europe. He had collected fish specimens, which he was eager to send before they were damaged by insects and other pests.

Garden had managed to acquire the latest edition of Systema naturae [Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
; the 10th edition was published in two volumes, “Animalia” 1758 and “Vegetabilia” 1759. The third volume, “Mineralia” was never published] and had studied it very diligently and carefully. He praises it for its clarity and expresses an almost devoted gratitude to Linnaeus for that work.

The material sent consists of all fishes he has been able to collect since the previous letter, and the characters he has made of those species. These are to be regarded as tentative, and Garden wants Linnaeus to give him a straightforward feedback after a critical reading; this will make Garden even more thankful.

The sending also includes several specimens preserved in rum spirit, not only fish but also various insects, amphibians and reptiles, such as turtles, lizards, a young crocodile and others. All specimens are tagged, as in the previous sending, and Garden lists a number of fish species which he thinks are new or less well published. He has tried to make characters of those too, and he repeats his wish to get feedback on all texts.

In this work, Garden has used Systema naturae and Peter Artedi’sArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
, Ichthyologia sive opera omnia de piscibusArtedi, Peter Ichthyologia
sive opera omnia de piscibus, scilicet:
Bibliotheca ichthyologica. Philosophia
ichthyologica. Genera piscium. Synonymia
specierum. Descriptiones specierum.
Omnia in hoc genere perfectiora, quam
antea ulla. Posthuma vindicavit,
recognovit, coaptavit & edidit
Carolus Linnaeus
(Leiden 1738).
. Furthermore, he used Mark CatesbyCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, but he considered that work [Garden means the The Natural history of CarolinaCatesby, Mark The Natural
history of Carolina, Florida and the
Bahama Islands: containing the figures
of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents,
insects and plants: particularly the
forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants,
not hitherto described, or very
incorrectly figured by authors. Together
with their descriptions in English and
French. To which are added observations
on the air, soil, and wate: with remarks
upon agriculture, grain, pulse, roots,
&c. To the whole is prefixed a new
and correct map of the countries treated
, I-II (London 1731-1743).
] very unsatisfactory, full of errors and lies.

Garden has not made characters of reptiles and insects, since he had no experience or method in describing such creatures. He had been fully occupied with his professional work during the day, so the analysis of his fish specimens had taken place during nights and that had been very laborious. If the subject and Linnaeus’s letter had not stimulated him, he would have given up long ago.

Garden longs for Linnaeus’s answering letter but finds stimulation in Linnaeus’s previous letter to himself and to John EllisEllis, John (1711-1776).
British. Merchant and naturalist, expert
on zoophytes. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. He wishes he could have more frequent and more reliable opportunities to send material to Linnaeus and to show him proofs of his gratitude and obedience.


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 177-180). [1] [2] [3]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 303-308   p.303  p.304  p.305  p.306  p.307  p.308.