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Link: • Johan Peter Falck to Carl Linnaeus, 22 November 1763 n.s.
Dated 11 Nov. ( 1763. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Swedish.


Johan Peter FalckFalck, Johan Peter (1732-1774).
Swedish. Professor of botany and
curator of the botanical garden of St
Petersburg. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
supposes that the letters from the Minister of Council and his benefactor [Karl Friedrich KruseKruse, Karl Friedrich (?-1799).
Russian. Personal physician to the
Russian czar. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] have reached Linnaeus by now and that the seven ducats, which he owes Linnaeus, are enclosed. Because of illness he has neither been able to settle the debt, nor to give a report of the Imperial Cabinet. Falck has met one of the Demidov brothers [Alexandr Grigorevich DemidovDemidov, Alexandr Grigorevich
(1737-1803). Russian. Linnaeus´s
student. Brother of Pavel Grigorevich
Demidov and Petr Grigorevich Demidov.
Son of Georgij Akinfievich Demidov,
grandson of Akinfiy Nikitich Demidov.
or Pavel Grigorevich DemidovDemidov, Pavel Grigorevich
(1738-1821). Russian. Linnaeus´s
student. Brother of Alexandr Grigorevich
Demidov and Petr Grigorevich Demidov.
Son of Georgij Akinfievich Demidov and
grandson of Akinfiy Nikitich Demidov. He
created a natural history museum in
Moscow which was later given to the
University of Moscow. Correspondent of
or Petr Grigorevich DemidovDemidov, Petr Grigorevich
(1740-1826). Russian. Linnaeus´s
student. Brother of Alexandr Grigorevich
Demidov and Pavel Grigorevich Demidov.
Son of Georgij Akinfievich Demidov and
grandson of Akinfiy Nikitich Demidov.
] at the Ministerís and presented Linnaeusís wishes concerning the plants of Cimicifuga and Spiraea. Demidov seemed hardly to remember Linnaeus and had not received any answer to his own letter to Linnaeus. Since their father [Georgij Akinfievich DemidovDemidov, Georgij Akinfievich
(1715-1761). Russian. Father of
Alexandr Grigorevich Demidov, Pavel
Grigorevich Demidov and Petr Grigorevich
Demidov. Son of Akinfiy Nikitich
Demidiv. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
died in 1761] passed away they are now occupied with matters concerning the inheritance.

Falck has nothing special to report from the outdoors, but more from his patronís collections. Most of the complete anatomical samples are from Herman BoerhaaveBoerhaave, Herman (1668-1738).
Dutch. Professor of medicine, botany and
chemistry at Leiden. One of the most
influential professors of medicine of
the eighteenth century. Linnaeus visited
him during his stay in Holland.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Frederik RuyschRuysch, Frederik (1638-1731).
Dutch. Physician and naturalist.
Professor of botany at Amsterdam in
1685, later in anatomy.
. The material preserved in liquid from old Boerhaave of Leyden constitutes an important part of the collection. The herbarium material of the same Boerhaave, which Linnaeus has doubtless seen before in Holland, is also here. The limited amount of specimens could be a sign of careless handling; you would not think they really belonged to a professor. However, its quality is good with a rich material of many small plants, which resemble those of Carl AurivilliusAurivillius, Carl (1717-1786).
Swedish. Professor of Oriental
languages, Uppsala. Correspondent of
. Falck has looked through them once. He doesnít recognize them all, but believes that they belong to the European flora. Therefore, Falck wonders whether the material didnít originate from Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
rather than from Boerhaave. However, there are samples from India and Africa that contradict this, for example: Protea argentea, Kiggelaria, Ficus religiosa, Samyda serrulata, some Mimosae, Cassiae, Diosmae, etc. There is a bunch of severely damaged herbs from Astrakhan at the Caspian Sea and the surroundings of Hercynia (Hircine) from the 1740ís. Falck is uncertain regarding the collector, but it could be Gottlob SchoberSchober, Gottlob (1770-1739).
German. Doctor of medicine, travelled in
or Daniel Gottlieb MesserschmidMesserschmied, Daniel Gottlieb
(1685-1735). German. Botanist.
Travelled in Siberia.
. Among the specimens is a Rhinanthus orientalis with an intricate flower, which he has thought a lot about. There is also a collection of amphibia, which is said have belonged to Albert SebaSeba, Albert (1665-1736).
Dutch. Pharmacist and collector of
natural history specimens, Amsterdam.

Falck writes in despair that his benefactor wants him to revise and name the whole collection. He doesnít know Falckís weakness, as he does. Falck continues, if he only could bring it all with him, in a haste, to Uppsala and enjoy Linnaeusís help, but he is desolate. Falck regrets that he is in such bad health and in such a place, that he cannot please Linnaeus with the appropriate news. He deeply misses Linnaeus and only God in heaven knows how much.

When Linnaeus answers his benefactor, Falck hopes he will confirm his weak health and instruct his benefactor about the necessity of daily outdoor exercise. Falck also, humbly, asks Linnaeus to tell his benefactor that Falck is an honourable and well-trusted man not inclined to bad habits. Thus there will be no risk in letting him exercise freely. On the contrary, he will be ruined by long convalescence and much use of medicine, or even dead, if he is not trusted to take care of his health.

Finally, Falck conveys his deepest respect and humbly asks to be encompassed by Linnaeusís invaluable grace.

P.S. Falck asks Linnaeus to order his old friends Gabriel ElmgrenElmgren, Gabriel (1730-1765).
Swedish. Student of medicine.
, Adam KuhnKuhn, Adam (1741-1817).
American. Physician, Philadelphia.
Studied under Linnaeus at Uppsala
University in 1762-1763. Linnaeusís only
American student. Correspondent of
and others to write to him now and then, just to be amused with good news. Such letters will be a gift from heaven. Falck has written to them all but perhaps they have forgotten. Falck is also most anxious to know if the expected rare and the most treasured bush safely reached Uppsala. He sincerely hopes so. It worries him, not to be able to experience such a rare sight.


a. (LS, IV, 113-114). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 34-37   p.34  p.35  p.36  p.37.