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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3822 • Johannes Beckman to Carl Linnaeus, 17 November 1766 n.s.
Dated die 17. Novem. 1766. Sent from Göttingen (Germany) to (). Written in Latin.

Vir illustris
atque generosissime,

Ego vero Tibi pro insigni erga me favore Tuo, pro grata responsione & benevola commendatione verbis profecto gratias agere nequeo. At hoc certissimum est, me per totam vitam meam TE omni pietate & grato animo esse culturum. Permittas, quaeso, ut Tibi fata mea breviter enerrem [sic], Tibi, inquam, cui fortunam meam qualemcunque potissimum debeo. Postquam audiverant Hannoverae me Upsaliae Tua doctrina usum esse, tanta fuit ista mihi commendatio, ut Hannoveram me venire juberent. Ibi omnes me de TE rogabant, etiam ipse excellentissimus Münchhausius (premier Minister), qui admirabatur favorem, quo Tu me peregrinum dignum iudicasti. Alter etiam gener[osissimus] Münchhausius, postquam mihi humanissime rescripserat, me etiam atque etiam affini suo commendaverat, tanquam discipulum magni de Linné. Itaque mihi officium professoris extraordinarii Göttingensis mandabant, etsi cum salario admodum exiguo.

Veni huc tam sero, cum iam omnes professores collegiorum suorum initium fecerant, & nihilo minus plures quam viginti auditores accepi, quibus Tuae doctrinae cupidis Systema Tuum naturae sedulo expono.

Interim epistola Tua mihi afferebatur, quam summo gaudio legebam & relegebam. Mittebam statim generos[issimo] Munchhusio epistolam, quam ei scripseras, qui ipsam statim Hannoveram affini suo mittebat. Tanto mihi haec Tua commendatio fuit honori, ut mihi omnes de eo gratularentur. Iam omnem operam do, ut intelligant omnes, me Tua commendatione non omnino indignum esse.

Dabo in posterum Oeconomiae operam, quantum potero, & accepi veniam per patriam proficiscendi, ut praxin Oeconomiae eo melius possim addiscere. Et ille gen[erosissimus] Münchhusius, quocum commercium litterarium alis, palam dixit, neminem posse felicius Oeconomiam exercere quam qui Te doctore historiae naturali operam dedit.

Docebo etiam botanicam, quam etsi & D[ominus] Bütner & D[ominus] Murrai docent. Tamen confido fore, ut auditores & ego accipiam. Fuerunt saltem iam studiosi, qui me rogarunt, ut iis vellem explicare philosophiam botanicam.

Inveni in bibliotheca Academiae nostrae, quae iam 80 000 libros integros continet, herbarium vivum Malabaricum, quod e Malabaria sibi nobilis quidam Hannoveranus per missionarios conquisivit. Quibusdam plantis adscripta sunt nomina Turnefortii, sed plurimae nominibus carent. Iam operam do, ut mihi permittatur, hoc herbario uti, quod reliqui Botanici nostri adhuc intactum reliquerunt. Quod si mihi permittitur, tunc spero, ut Tibi aliquid Tuis oculis dignum mittere possim.

Rumor est, ill[ustrem] Hallerum huc rediturum esse, ut subiret munus Cancellarii Academiae, quod post mortem Moshemii, magni illius Theologi, vacuum fuit. Sed sunt, qui adhuc dubitant. Nam non nescis, Helvetos nisi coactos patriam suam [non] relinquere. Rogavit ill[ustris] Hallerus publice omnes Germaniae Botanicos, ut sibi mitterent plantas, quae tantum in Germania, non etiam in Helvetia crescunt. Credo eum in animo habere, Floram Germaniae contexere.

Denique Tibi, Vir illustris & Fautor optime, gratias in primis ago, quod respondendo quaestionibus meis, me & absentem docere voluisti.

Nihil mihi magis in votis est, quam Tibi posse pro insigni favore Tuo gratias referre. Faxit Deus, ut in emolumentum litterarum quam diutissime felix & incolumis vivas!

Fave et in posterum mihi

illustris nominis Tui

cultori observantissimo
Joh[anni] Beckmann.

Göttingae die 17 Novem[bris] 1766.

addresse:
Professeur de l’Academie
à
Göttingen.

upSUMMARY

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 Linnaeus’s method.

When Linnaeus’s 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 Linnaeus’s 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 Tournefort’sTournefort 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 Mosheim’s 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.

Beckman’s address in Göttingen is given at the end.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, I, 495-496). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 261-263   p.261  p.262  p.263.