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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L4667 • Carl Linnaeus to Johann Reinhold Forster, 8 May 1772 n.s.
Dated 1772 d. 8 Maiji. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to London (Great Britain). Written in Latin.

Viro Amplissimo
D[omino] D[octori] JO[ANNI] REINH[OLDO] FORSTERO,
S. T.
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
Car[olus] Linné

Diu peroptavi Tuam familiaritatem imprimis ab eo tempore, quo legi pulcherrimas Tuas observationes de Hist[oria] nat[urali] Wolgae.[1] Laetatus itaque fui impense, dum Tuas accepi literas d[ie] 24 Martii datas, ex quibus intellexi benevolum Tuum in me animum, quod quorum studiorum genere demer[er]i annitar.[2]

Laetabor magnopere ex donis Tuis pretiosissimis, quae tam liberali manu in me confers; avidissime omnium perlegam Tuam centuriam insectorum[3] et Faunam Floramque Americae septentrionalis; utinam brevi accederet, de hic enim die nocteque cogito.[4]

Cum Salicornia apud me non crescat et diu haesitavi de vero numero staminum, petii a D[omino] BoseroBose, Ernst Gottlieb
(1723-1788). German. Professor of
botany at Leipzig.
, quod in sua Zelandia, ubi copiosissima, eam oculo armato inspiceret, quod praestitit et asseveravit esse stamen unicum. Dein in Tua Wolga vidi 2 stamina ideoque iterum dubius factus sum.

Cyprinus iste Tuus valde singularis est. De Generibus primo dubium esse nequit. Quid sit istae singulae in apice capitis ex figura non intellego. Quot sint ipsi radii in pinnis, imprimis in pinna arsi, exoptarem scire.

Inter 17 Mammalia ista Americana debent plurima nova obvenire, ut caetera taceam.

Utinam, dum me beare velis rarissimis plantis Rhamni volubilis et Calami Rotang affinis, simul adderes eorum specimina sicca pro herbario meo et, nisi abuterer tua amicitia, exoptarem simul specimen siccum Geranii istius peltati, cuius vivam plantam misit praeterito anno D[ominus] Gordon,Gordon, James (1708-1780).
British. Gardener to James Sherard at
Eltham and then to Lord Petre at
Thorndon. After that he founded a
nursery at Bow and run a seed shop in
London. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Hortulanus vester Londinensis[a][a] : MS1 [added above the line] egregius, sed quae planta meo maximo dolore proxima hyeme periit. D[ominum] Gordonum salutes, oro, et meis verbis pete specimen siccum, et nullus dubito, quin optimus Vir tale concedat, spero, quod id dein generose mittas.

Audivi ex omnibus e Londino reducibus, quod Hortus Kewensis alat numerosissimas et rarissimas plantas, sed, quod impense doleo, fata mihi negant cum oculis meis intueri.

Numquam antea quidquam de Rhamno volubili aut Ilice vomitoria audivi[b][b] : MS1 <quidquam> audivi .

Vale et me Tuis annumera!

Upsaliae 1772 d[ie] 8 Maji.

[address] Viro clarissimo / DD Jo. Reinh. Forstero / MD / London

upSUMMARY

When Linnaeus read Johann Reinhold Forster’s observations regarding the natural history of the Volga, his longing to have him as a friend increased.

Linnaeus was happy to receive Forster’s letter of 24 March 1772 n.s.; he eagerly awaits Forster’s Nova species insectorum: Centuria I and the Fauna and Flora of North America.

Since Salicornia does not grow at Uppsala and because for a long time Linnaeus hesitated about the true number of stamens, he asked Ernst Gottlieb Boser to check; Boser claimed that there was only one stamen. Then Linnaeus saw in Forster’s observations on the Volga that it had two stamens. Now Linnaeus does not know what to believe.

Cyprinus is discussed. It is very unique. Linnaeus has some questions.

Among the seventeen American mammals there must be much new.

Linnaeus would be grateful for plants and dried specimens of Rhamnus volubilis and its related plant Calamus Rotang. He would also like to have a dried specimen of Geranium peltatum, of which James Gordon, gardener in London, sent Linnaeus a plant last year. Unfortunately, it perished.

Linnaeus has heard from everyone returning from London that there are innumerable rare plants in the Kew Garden.

Linnaeus has never before heard anything about Rhamnus volubilis or Ilex vomitaria.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (UUB, G152a). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added above the line]
b.
MS1 <quidquam> audivi

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
In 1765 Johann Reinhold Forster went on an expedition to the Volga. Empress Catherine had determined on a programme of colonisation by German settlers in the vicinity of the Volga. See Forster, “Specimen historiae naturalis Volgensis”Forster, Johann Reinhold
“Specimen historiae naturalis
Volgensis”, Philosophical
Transactions
, 57 (1767), 312-357.
.
2.
See Forster’s letter to Linnaeus dated 24 March 1772 n.s.Letter L4633.
3.
4.