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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 16 November 1762 n.s.
Dated Novr: 16. 1762. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.


Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has heard that the Imperatorskaja akademija nauk [Imperial Academy of SciencesImperatorskaja 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]).
] at St. Petersburg is trying to engage Daniel SolanderSolander, Daniel (1733-1782).
Swedish. Naturalist, explorer. Student
in Uppsala under Linnaeus and Johan
Gottschalk Wallerius. Went to London in
1760. Curator of natural history
collections at the British Museum.
Botanist on Cook’s first voyage
1768-1771. Joseph Bank’s librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
as professor of botany. He is very concerned about this, both because of the unstable political situation in Russia with tumults, riots and risk of a revolution, and because the greater part of the flora of Russia has already been investigated by Johann Georg GmelinGmelin, Johann Georg
(1709-1755). German. Voyager, botanist
and chemist. At the initiative of
empress Anna of Russia he spent ten
years (1733-1743) exploring Siberia. In
1749 he became professor of botany and
chemistry at Tübingen. Together
with his nephew Samuel Gottlieb he wrote
Flora Sibirica (1747-1769).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Georg Wilhelm StellerSteller, Georg Wilhelm
(1709-1746). German. Voyager, who
sailed with Vitus Bering and returned
with important collections from
and others. So Collinson does not think there is much use there for Solander’s great talents.

Collinson wonders if Linnaeus really could advise Solander to accept such an offer, which would bury and conceal him for several years. A person of Solander’s ability will not want offers for more suitable positions.

If Linnaeus were to die, Collinson thinks Solander would be the best man to succeed him, and he would never be free to do so if he accepts a Russian offer.

Collinson is sure Linnaeus knows somebody who would be better suited to the position in St. Petersburg, and Collinson is sure Solander will find enough support in England to make him stay there.

Some of Solander’s friends in England have designed a scheme to make him stay, and if Linnaeus has determined Solander for St. Petersburg, Collinson asks him to postpone his answer to the Russian Academy until he hears from Collinson again.

P.S. Collinson hopes his letter of May 20 [Collinson to Linnaeus 20 May 1762Letter L3070] about the swallows has reached Linnaeus. Collinson is waiting for an answer, since the first letter on that issue, which Collinson wrote three years ago, [Collinson to Linnaeus, 25 July 1759

] had never been honoured with a reply.


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 74). [1] [2]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 57-59   p.57  p.58  p.59.
2. “Forget not Mee & My Garden ...” (2002), p. 243 .