Carl Linnaeus to Riksens Ständers Utskott och Deputationer,
29 January 1762 n.s.
L5655. Carl LinnaeusCarl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Swedish.
to Riksens Ständers Utskott och Deputationer Riksens Ständers Utskott och
Linnaeus suggests that science in every prosperous country has been at the heart of governments and distinguished them from barbarians. In Sweden it is for the estates [the Swedish Parliament, i.e. Sveriges Riksdag] to promote the sciences by encouraging those who have significantly contributed to its development.
Linnaeus wishes to mention his own contributions to this development.
He has abandoned the medical practice and other means to boost his financial situation in order to serve science.
He has written about dietae more than anybody else. His students can verify this. Linnaeus will publish his lectures on this subject to the benefit and enjoyment of the Swedish nation.
Systema Morborum [Linnaeus means Genera morborumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
The natural history of Sweden, which was previously quite unknown, does now, due to his efforts, contain 1 300 plants and 2 300 animals. Probably no other country has such a complete fauna and flora.
Linnaeus has assembled, at no public cost, thousands of plants never before known in Sweden. Among those Jalapp, the Tartar rhubarb and the Chinese rhubarb.
Linnaeus describes what he sees as his contributions to the development of natural history, his travels, his efforts to find support for his disciples and their travel and investigations all over the world, his international correspondence, purchase of expensive books etc.
Linnaeus refers to his publications of around 40 books, of which many have been published in many other countries, such as Germany, Holland, France, Italy etc. Just to write Systema naturae and Species plantarum would be sufficient for the life of one man. As Linnaeus has not published his works himself, his publishers in Sweden has earned well from it.
He says that he, on the basis of this work, has attracted foreign visitors to Swedish universities; that his disciples have attained higher positions in Sweden and abroad than he himself has been offered or able to accept. What remains is that he is in bad health and those years of service and merits cannot improve his position. Had he focused on his own financial situation instead of the sciences, he would have been much better off.
Linnaeus adds to the letter a list of his publications.