Carl Linnaeus to Carl Gustaf Ekeberg,
17 September 1763 n.s.
L3295. Carl LinnaeusCarl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Swedish.
to Carl Gustaf EkebergCarl Gustaf Ekeberg (1716-1784).
Linnaeus hopes that this letter reaches Carl Gustaf EkebergEkeberg, Carl Gustaf
Linnaeus is so afraid that a disaster with them might occur that he dreams of them every night.
Linnaeus asks whether it would be possible to find a pauper in Gothenburg, such as a man from Västergötland who could transport the plants to Uppsala and ensure that they were indoors at night to avoid frost. The pots could be carefully broken so that the root lump remained intact, around which thick mosses should be bound, which would make it easier to carry and transport, if necessary to Italy. Linnaeus offers to pay such a man 100 dalers for his trouble. Had he been rich he would have offered one hundred times more, but his large family prevents that. It would be impossible to transport them in pots unless the roots are properly enclosed in mosses, as the shaking of the wagon would loosen every grain of earth from around the roots, as occurred on the former occasion.
Linnaeus is so worried that he again emphasises that these plants are priceless and that if someone is employed to transport them the man must not continue his journey as long as there is still morning frost in the air. It would take 14 days to travel from Gothenburg to Uppsala as it is about 50 miles; the man would get 100 dalers when the plants are delivered, that is 2 dalers per mile, which is fully sufficient for a farm labourer.
In a postscript Linnaeus confirms that he could see from the previous shipment that the plants were the right ones, even though they were dead and withered.
1. "Thebuskens införande i Sverige 1763: Tvĺ bref af Carl von Linné" (1893), p. 13 .