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Link: • Jacob Jonas Björnståhl to Carl Linnaeus, 30 November 1770 n.s.
Dated 30 November 1770. Sent from Marseille (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


To prove that he always thinks of Linnaeus Jakob Jonas BjörnståhlBjörnståhl, Jacob Jonas
(1731-1779). Swedish.
Orientalist. Studied in Uppsala and
attended Linnaeus’s lectures. Travelled
in Europe and Asia (1767-1779). Died in
Saloniki, Greece. Correspondent of
now sends him the following items: 1. Seeds from the African coast procured by GuysGuys, French?. Merchant,
, a rich merchant of Marseilles, also seedcases of un unknown species; if it is of little interest to Linnaeus, he must at least credit the good intention. 2. A sample of the new silk, spun by flies in pine trees. It is an invention made by Sienne in Marseilles, who has handed in a thesis on this subject to the Academy of sciences in Paris [Académie royale des sciences, ParisAcadémie royale des sciences,
French. The French
Académie des sciences was founded
in 1666 and became a royal academy in
1699. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
]. Björnståhl also encloses a few of these insects. According to Sienne there are two kinds of these flies: Viviparae and Oviparae. He believes that this invention could be useful in Sweden where pine trees are so common. Sienne has travelled in Africa, Asia and America. He has a beautiful collection and is an ardent Linnean and would like to start a correspondence with Linnaeus. 3. A sample of wool prepared against insects by Sienne, for which he has been awarded a prize by the Royal Academy of Humanities, Sciences and Arts of Bordeaux [Académie Royale des Belles Lettres, Sciences et Arts de BordeauxAcadémie royale des
belles-lettres, sciences et arts de
French. The Academy
was founded in 1712.
]. François Etienne de ChoiseulChoiseul, François Etienne de
(1719-1785). French. Statesman
and diplomat.
has forbidden him to reveal this invention because of the English. The preparation does not change the colour of the wool, nor its quality, and it can be used on camelhair as well. Sienne has also written a treatise on how an olive tree can be protected from the attacks of eruca, a worm that eats the olives. He prescribes a kind of prepared tar that is smeared round the trunk. In this treatise he presents a new way of producing olive oil without breaking the stones. This method yields excellent olive oil; even the King of France [Louis XVLouis XV, (1710-1774).
French. Reigned 1715-1774.
] wants it. A way of drying figs with a ventilator is another of Sienne’s inventions. Björnståhl is about to sail for Italy and is writing in a terrible noise from all the activities in the harbour, which may explain certain oddities in the letter. Two months ago he wrote to Carl Christoffer GjörwellGjörwell, Carl Christoffer
(1731-1811). Swedish. Author,
publisher, royal librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
about Jean-Jacques Rousseau’sRousseau, Jean-Jacques
(1712-1778). Swiss. Writer and
philosopher. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
great admiration of Linnaeus. Maybe this letter has already been published? Rousseau sends his respects and says that ”he bends his knee and worships such a great man”. He now devotes his time to botany, and Linnaeus’s works are his guides. Björnståhl has visited VoltaireVoltaire, (1694-1778).
French. Philosopher, historian. One of
the leading advocates of the French
who also praised Linnaeus.

After crossing France they will now sail for Civita vecchia and then go to Rome. Carl Fredrik RudbeckRudbeck, Carl Fredrik
(1755-1814). Swedish. Military officer.
Son of Adolph Rudbeck. Brother of Adolph
Fredrik Rudbeck. Accompanied, together
with his brother, Jacob Jonas
Björnståhl on his travels.
] sends his respects. Björnståhl sends his greetings to Johan IhreIhre, Johan (1707-1780).
Swedish. Philologist. Professor of Latin
and later of eloquence and political
science at Uppsala.
to whom he has sent a copy of Le Journal des Scavans Le Journal des scavans
in which one of Ihre’s works is mentioned.

Greetings are also sent to Linnaeus, Lars HydrénHydrén, Lars
(1694-1789). Swedish. Professor of
poetry 1744 and of theology 1753,
Uppsala. Dean at the Uppsala cathedral
1764. Father of Anna Catharina Waldius
and father-in-law of Erik Waldius.
, Erik HydrénHydrén, Erik
(1732-1786). Swedish. Professor of
theology, Uppsala.
, Erik HesselgrenHesselgren, Erik (1715-1803).
Swedish. Professor of oriental
languages, and theology, Uppsala.
, Christopher ClewbergClewberg, Christopher
(1706-1776). Swedish. Professor of
Oriental languages in Uppsala, in
theology 1760. Vicar at the parish of
Denmark, outside Uppsala. Brother of
Carl Abraham Clewberg.
, Johan FloderusFloderus, Johan (1721-1789).
Swedish. Professor of Greek, Uppsala.
Close friend to Carl Linnaeus and his
, Lars Johan PalmbergPalmberg, Lars Johan
(1713-1804). Swedish. Professor of
theology, and dean, Uppsala.
, Fredrik MalletMallet, Fredrik (1728-1797).
Swedish. Astronomer and mathematician,
professor of mathematics, Uppsala.
, Daniel AnnerstedtAnnerstedt, Daniel (1721-1771).
Swedish. Professor of theology,
”etc. etc.”.

A couple of days ago a very strange fish was caught outside the harbour of Marseilles. GrossonGrosson, French. Broker,
made a description in French and a sketch of it. Björnståhl asked him to make a copy for Linnaeus and to write the description in Latin. Linnaeus must excuse the result: Grosson is an expert in natural history but not in Latin grammar!


a. original holograph (LS, II, 37). [1] [2]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 237-241   p.237  p.238  p.239  p.240  p.241.