John Ellis to Carl Linnaeus,
21 October 1766 n.s.
L3810. John EllisJohn Ellis (1711-1776). British.
By a Ship just arrivd from South Carolina, I have rec’d a letter, dated
Aug[u]st 5, [a][a] : MS. 1 dated ... 5 [added above
Since I wrote to you last I have been endeavouring to investigate the nature of your genus Corallina, and have lately added several new Species, some of which I have rec’d from the new ceded Islands in the West Indies.
I am the more sollicitous about them, as I find the French and D[octo]r Baster seem
to think them Vegetables; particularly D[octo]r Baster supposes them nothing but
Confervae incrustated. At the same time I am endeavouring to shew the
nature of some of the Confervae, I have discover’d in the Polymorpha
male parts in one plant, & what appears like an Amentum, and capsules full of
Seeds, in another. The same I have seen in the Conferva plumosa, there is a
bad figure of it in Pluken[e]t, Tab. 48. fig. 2. Dillenius has given a better figure, Ed. 3 of
Ray’s Syn. Tab. 2. fig. 5, & calls it Fucoides purpureum eleganter plumosum. I
have found the same male and Female parts[d][d] : MS 1 male ... parts [added
M[iste]r Gregg, who formerly sent me the kidneyshapd Sea Pen from Carolina, has
lately sent to Lord Hillsborough, a curious collection of Specimens of Plants, which he
gather’d himself in the Islands of Tobago, St. Vincent, Granada, and Dominica. Among
them are the Brownea and Sloanea, the latter agrees with Loefling’s
description exactly, so that what Miller has seen must be a chestnut. Besides these
plants, there are some curious Birds and Submarine animals. When D[octo]r Solander
and I have look’d them over, they are intended for the British Museum. There is,
among the Sea production an Actinia, that arises, many together, in a row
from wrinkled tubes, which Tubes[e][e] : MS 1 Tubes [added above the
I shall send you a Specimen of them preservd in Spirits. I should be glad to know
What you call Bohadsch’s Hydra; for there are many of them in that part of the
world, and likewise what you call his Tethys.
In the Actinia there are 2 rows of Tentacula, that surround the mouth
at the top of it. The lines that run up & down are the tendons of the muscles[f][f] : MS. 1 of ... muscles [added
While I am writing this Letter, Solander is examining some of L[ord] Hillsborough’s
plants, and among them is the Jacquinia armillaris, or Chrysophyllum
Barbano of Loefling wherin he says Loefling’s description is more accurate than
any[g][g] : MS 1 any [added above the
This is called the Dwarf Gum tree, and is common on the Sea Coast in all our new Islands.
N.B. Your description of the Calyx is most exact of any.
I wish you would continue to write to me[h][h] : MS 1 me [added above the
Before I conclude I must tell you, I have met with a most remarkable Sponge near Chichester at Emsworth in Sussex in company with M[iste]r Brunnich, which I shall soon send you the plate of. M[iste]r Brunnich is now in Cornwall, he met with an accident in Wales from a fall from his horse, which has detained him longer than he intended.
My best Wishes attend you; and be assured of the love, honour, &
esteem of, D[ea]r Sir, your obligd humble Serv[an]t,
P.S. I have a New Pennatula, or Sea pen, the Largest and most Elegant I have seen, from the East Indies. I have had a drawing made of it; it is about 10 Inches long. I intend to have it engrav’d as soon as I can get a proper person to do it.
MS. 1 dated ... 5 [added above the line]
MS. 1 plants [added above the line]
MS 1 long [added above the line]
MS 1 male ... parts [added above the line]
MS 1 Tubes [added above the line]
MS. 1 of ... muscles [added above the line]
MS 1 any [added above the line]
MS 1 me [added above the line]