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Link: • Carl Peter Thunberg to Carl Linnaeus, 1 May 1774 n.s.
Dated d. 1. Maij 1774.. Sent from Cape Town (South Africa) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


In a letter to Carl Peter ThunbergThunberg, Carl Peter
(1743-1828). Swedish. Botanist,
physician, explorer. Professor of
medicine and botany at Uppsala. Studied
medicine under Linnaeus in Uppsala,
medicine and surgery in Paris, natural
history under Johannes Burman in
Amsterdam. Travelled in South Africa in
1772-1775, in Japan 1775-1776, Java and
Ceylon in 1777-1778. Correspondent of
, Lars MontinMontin, Lars (1723-1785).
Swedish. Physician and botanist. Studied
medicine in Uppsala under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein.
Provincial physician of the province of
Halland. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has intimated that letters from Linnaeus are on their way. Another piece of good news is that Linnaeus has approved Thunbergia. Thunberg is enclosing a document for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
]. It is a description of a unique botanical phenomenon: a fungus with stamens and pistils and all other details of a plant except seeds [Thunberg refers to, "Beskrifning pa en ganska besynnerlig och obekant svamp, Hydnora africana"Thunberg, Carl Peter
"Beskrifning pa en ganska
besynnerlig och obekant svamp,
Hydnora africana, ifran Goda
Hoppets Udde i Africa",
KVAH, 36 (1775), 69-75.
]. Thunberg is enclosing a drawing of it and will send a dried specimen. By rights, Thunberg should send this document to the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters [Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers SelskabDet Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab, The Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters
Founded in 1760 by Johan Ernst Gunnerus,
Gerhard Schøning Peter Friederich
Suhm as the Trondhiemske Selskab (the
Trondheim Society). It received Royal
affirmation of its statues in 1767 and
became the Kongelige Norske Videnskabers
Selskab (the Royal Norwegian Society of
Sciences and Letters). Its publications
are Det Trondhiemske Selskabs
, 1-3 (1761-1765) and Det
Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs
, 4-5 (1768-1774).
] in Trondheim as they have made him a member, but his patriotism dissuades him from doing so. Instead, he will send a description of Cycas caffra and of the Hottentots’ method of making bread from it. Some weeks ago Thunberg sent a box of bulbs and seeds to Linnaeus. Another parcel will soon follow via Thunberg’ s agent in Holland, Eric FlobergFloberg, Eric Swedish. , and Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
in Stockholm.

In his last letter to Linnaeus [Thunberg to Linnaeus, 4 April 1774Letter L4988], Thunberg enclosed a new species of Solandra with a description. The same description was sent to Daniel SolanderSolander, Daniel (1733-1782).
Swedish. Naturalist, explorer. Student
in Uppsala under Linnaeus and Johan
Gottschalk Wallerius. Went to London in
1760. Curator of natural history
collections at the British Museum.
Botanist on Cook’s first voyage
1768-1771. Joseph Bank’s librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
who will probably publish it in the Philosphical Transactions published by the Royal Society, LondonRoyal Society, London,
British. The Royal Society was founded
in Oxford in 1645 and sanctioned as a
royal society in 1662.
. It will be named Hydrocotyle tomentosa. This very day, he has sent a description of a beautiful plant, reminiscent of Thunbergia, to the Academy of Sciences in Stockholm [Thunberg refers to, “Rothmannia, ett nytt örte-genus"Thunberg, Carl Peter
“Rothmannia, ett nytt örte-genus;
funnet och beskrifwit af Carl Peter
Thunberg”, KVAH, 37 (1776),
]. It will be named after Göran RothmanRothman, Göran (Georg)
(1739-1778). Swedish. Physician,
botanist, translator. Studied under
Linnaeus. Went to Tripoli in 1773.
Translator of Voltaire, Pope and others.
Son of Johan Stensson Rothman.
, an old friend of Thunberg’ s, who, Thunberg is told, soon will travel to Turkey. The description is enclosed with the letter, but in the first place [as it seems] intended for Peter Jonas BergiusBergius, Petter Jonas
(1730-1790). Swedish. Physician and
botanist. Professor of natural history
and pharmacy at Collegium Medicum,
Stockholm. Linnaeus’s student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
as he can have an illustration made of it in Stockholm. Thunberg hopes that Linnaeus does not take offense of that. It is his way of showing Bergius some appreciation for favors he has shown Thunberg. Thunberg is also enclosing two herbs: Laurembergia regens and another whose genus is doubtful; maybe it is a Chenopodium.

The letter contains an appendix with descriptions of Rothmannia capensis and Hydnora Africana.


a. original holograph (LS, XV, 287-290). [1] [2] [3] [4]