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. thanks Linnaeus for his services and recommendations, and tells Linnaeus what he has gone through since the previous letter [Beckman to Linnaeus, 14 August 1766Letter L3789]: when it was known in Hanover that Beckman was a pupil of Linnaeus, they had asked him to come to Hanover where Otto von MünchhausenMünchhausen, Otto von
(1716-1774). German. Chancellor of
Göttingen University. Correspondent
of Linnaeus. , then Prime Minister, had received him. The meeting ended with Beckman being offered a professorship in Göttingen, albeit at a rather modest salary.
Beckman came to Göttingen after the beginning of the academic year, but nevertheless he got more than twenty pupils whom he teaches Linnaeusís method.
When Linnaeusís letter arrived, he read it, and he forwarded the attached letter from Linnaeus to Münchhausen. Beckman became quite famous when its content was known.
Beckman will teach economy and botany, and he has been permitted to study economic practice in Germany. Münchhausen thinks that Linnaeusís lessons in natural history are an excellent basis for teaching economy.
In botany, there are already two teachers, David Sigismund August BüttnerBüttner, David Sigismund August
(1724-1768). Hungarian. Professor
of medicine and botany in 1756, Berlin,
in 1760 professor of botany and zoology,
Göttingen. and Johan Andreas MurrayMurray, Johan Andreas
(1740-1791). Swedish. Professor of
medicine and botany, Göttingen. Son
of Andreas Murray and brother of Adolph
Murray and Gustaf Murray. Half-brother
of Johann Philipp Murray. Correspondent
of Linnaeus. , but Beckman is sure he will also get pupils.
In the university library, with holdings of 80,000 volumes, Beckman has found a herbarium of plants from Malabar, collected by missionaries for a nobleman in Hanover. Some of the specimens have names after Joseph Pitton de TournefortísTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris. system, while most of them still lack names. Beckman is going to ask for permission to work at the collection, which the other botanists have left aside, and he hopes to find something there that may interest Linnaeus.
Beckman reports a rumour that Albrecht von HallerHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus. is about to return to Göttingen to become chancellor of the university, a position that is vacant after Johann Lorenz Mosheimís death. However, the matter is not settled, and it is commonly known that Swiss scholars do not leave their country unless they are forced to go. However, Haller had officially asked all the botanists in Germany to send him specimens of plants not found in Switzerland, so it seems that he is compiling a flora of Germany.
Beckman thanks Linnaeus for answering his questions and thus continuing to teach him, and he hopes to be able to do something in return.
Beckmanís address in Göttingen is given at the end.