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Link: • Johannes Beckman to Carl Linnaeus, 14 August 1766 n.s.
Dated die XIV. Augusti 1766. Sent from Bremen (Germany) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Johannes BeckmanBeckman, Johannes (1739-1811).
German. Professor of economy,
Göttingen. After a two-year stay in
St Petersburg, he travelled in Sweden
and Denmark in 1765-1766. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
has at last had time to write to Linnaeus and tell him about his return to Germany. He is very grateful to Linnaeus and promises to take every opportunity to show his gratitude. His visit to Linnaeus is more worth to him than the fortunes of all those who go to France for pleasure.

In Copenhagen, Beckman had tried to be allowed to see what had been sent from the group of Danish scholars in Arabia, but in vain. What had come from there was in bad shape. No seeds had been sown, so that Beckman had not seen one new species in the botanical garden. Georg Christian von OederOeder, Georg Christian von
(1728-1791). German/Danish. Botanist
and economist. Studied under Albrecht
von Haller in Göttingen and became
professor of botany at Copenhagen.
Minister of finance for Norway. Started
the publishing of Flora Danica.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
was away collecting plants for [Flora danica]. Icones plantarum sponte nascentium in regnis Daniae et NorvegiaeOeder, Georg Christian von
[Flora danica.] [Flora danica].
Icones plantarum sponte nascentium in
regnis Daniae et Norvegiae, in ducatibus
Slesvici et Holsatiae, et in comitatibus
Oldenburgi et Delmenhorstiae: ad
illustrandum opus de iisdem plantis,
regio jussu exarandum, Florae danicae
nomine inscriptum
, 17 vol., Suppl.
(1 v.) (Copenhagen 1766 [i.e.
, but Johan ZoegaZoëga, Johan (1742-1788).
Danish. Botanist and economist.
Linnaeus’s student 1762-1764.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had shown him some plants, and he had also visited Adam Gottlob Moltke’sMoltke, Adam Gottlob
(1710-1792). Danish. High court
official at Frederik V, statesman and
collections where he had seen a new Cardium from Arabia, to be published in a future work by Franz Michael RegenfussRegenfuss, Franz Michael
(1713-1780). German. Engraver and
art-dealer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Christian Gottlieb KratzensteinKratzenstein, Christian Gottlieb
(1723-1795). Danish. Physician and
physicist. Professor in Halle, from 1754
professor of experimental physics at
Copenhagen. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Lorenz SpenglerSpengler, Lorenz (1720-1807).
Swiss. Swiss-born zoologist, who moved
to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1743.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[Beckman refers to the forthcoming Choix de Coquillages et de CrustacésRegenfuss, Franz Michael
Choix de coquillages et de
crustacés peints d'après
nature, gravés, en taille douce
et illuminés de leurs vraïes
(Copenhagen 1758).
, where Spengler was responsible for a great amount of text].

Pehr AscaniusAscanius, Peder (1723-1803).
Danish. Naturalist. Inspector of mines,
Norway. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had shown him a strange animal, new to both of them. Linnaeus had published something similar in Amoenitates academicaeLinnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
, I-X (Stockholm
1749-1790). Soulsby no. 1280.
, so Beckman asks for Linnaeus’s opinion.

Spengler is about to publish descriptions and pictures of rare shells in his collection. Beckman asks for Linnaeus’s opinion on the name of a round shell, eight inches in diameter, with a crab inside that just showed a claw outside the small opening of the shell.

In Lübeck, Beckman has visited Peter Hinrich TesdorpfTesdorpf, Peter Hinrich
(1712-1778). German. Merchant,
Lübeck. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, from whom he has greetings for Linnaeus. There, he saw an enormous quill with eighteen beautiful ornaments in the form of eyes. Neither Beckman nor Tesdorpf had an idea of the species of bird, which must have been enormous. They ask Linnaeus to tell them.

Beckman had also seen mother-of-pearl perforated by worms, like some kinds of stone, so Beckman concludes that these worms can get inside clams and are not confined to the water.

Beckman relates a notice published in The Gentleman’s Magazine on an Echinitis [Jacques-François DelucDeluc, Jacques-François
(1698-1780). .
and Jean-André DelucDeluc, Jean-André
(1727-1817). .
, ”On a very remarkable English Echinitis”Deluc, Jacques-François &
Jean-André Deluc
”On a very
remarkable English Echinitis”, The
Gentleman’s Magazine
, 36 (1766),
] and recent information on the small larvae found in wine cellars.

Beckman had come across a specimen of the spiny dogfish, Squalus achantias, which was not quite the same as the one depicted by Peter ArtediArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
. Beckman specifies the differences and wants to know what they mean.

Stephan Petrovich Krascheninnikow’sKrascheninnikov, Stephan Petrovich
(1713-1755). Russian. Professor
of natural history, St Petersburg. Went
with Johann Georg Gmelin to Siberia and
came as the only member of the
expedition to Kamchatka. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
description of Kamtchatka has been published in a translation into German [Opisanie Zemli Kamtschatkj […] d.i. Beschreibung des Landes KamtschatkaKrascheninnikov, Stephan Petrovich
Opisanie Zemli Kamtschatkj […]
d.i. Beschreibung des Landes
(Lemgo, 1766).

Johann David MichaelisMichaëlis, Johann David
(1717-1791). German. Professor of
Oriental languages, Göttingen.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had been very pleased by the botanical information supplied by Linnaeus in Aleksandr Matveevich Karamyschew’sKaramyschew, Aleksandr Matveevich
(1744-1791). Russian. Disciple of
dissertation [Dissertatio academica demonstrans necessitatem promovendae historiae naturalis in RossiaLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
academica demonstrans necessitatem
promovendae historiae naturalis in
, diss., resp. A. M.
Karamyschew (Upsala 1766). Soulsby no.
], since it had supported a theory of his on the location of the garden of Eden. The same information had also been forwarded to August Ludwig von Schlözer’sSchlözer, August Ludwig von
(1735-1809). German. Historian,
professor in Göttingen.
in St. Petersburg. [Schlözer referred to this in his Probe Russischer AnnalenSchlözer, August Ludwig von
Probe Russischer Annalen (Bremen
& Göttingen, 1768).

For himself, Beckman reports that he has reached Bremen, where he was staying with his sister. He does not know anything about his future, except that he has an offer from St. Petersburg which he does not want to accept. He asks Linnaeus to recommend him to Otto von MünchhausenMünchhausen, Otto von
(1716-1774). German. Chancellor of
Göttingen University. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
, who could easily get Beckman a professorship in Göttingen. Beckman has tried to see him but he was not there when Beckman arrived.

Beckman sends his regards to Linnaeus and to all his family.


a. (LS, I, 491-492). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 257-260   p.257  p.258  p.259  p.260.