Letter L0249
Letter written by Isaac Lawson
Letter addressed to Carl Linnaeus
Date 10 April 1738


Isaac Lawson has set out on a study tour, and this letter is a report from his trip. Lawson leaves Amsterdam in the morning. Three hours later he is in Naarden. He catches the stage coach to Osnabrück, and arrives there the following morning. The only fellow passenger is a hangman’s assistant, whom Lawson once witnessed in action. Lawson paid a nice sum to have a good view of a victim being quartered by this man. Never in his life has Lawson experienced such dreadful cold as during this trip. In Osnabrück he visits Friedrich Otto Mencken. The following day he is in Hannover, where he is well received by Hugo, who is the owner of interesting collections. He spends the night in a damp and terribly cold room of a miserable inn. A day later he is in Braunschweig, where he finds little or nothing of interest. Not far from Braunschweig, however, lies Wolfenbüttel, and here lives Franciscus Ernst Brückmann. He and a man named Bitner are owners of interesting collections. Most impressive was a collection of minerals in the home of the ducal Counsellor Otto von Münchhausen. The Duke’s residence is well worth visiting with its fine art collections and the library at Wolfenbüttel.

From Wolfenbüttel Lawson goes to Goslar and spends a day with Christoph Andreas Schlüter and an anonymous physician, to whom Lawson had a letter of introduction from Brückmann. Lawson is mainly interested in mining, although he does not have time for more than a short visit to the mine installations. He will enter the mines of Rammelsberg and make a close inspection of everything. Lawson intends to stay there for 10 to 14 days. On the following day he wants to go to Zellerfeld, Clausthal and other places of interest.

Lawson would like Linnaeus to join him so they could visit Halle, Leipzig and Berlin together. Lawson sends his regards to George Clifford and instructs Linnaeus to tell him to give the promised books to his brother and also put aside a copy for Brückmann, who is eager to get one. Lawson reminds Linnaeus of his promise to procure a herbarium for him from Clifford’s garden. If Fate so ordains that they will not see each other again, Lawson beseeches Linnaeus to send him all kinds of minerals from Sweden so he can acquire a complete collection of all that is included in the section “Regnum lapideum” of Linnaeus’s Systema naturae. Affectionate greetings to Linnaeus and their friends conclude this letter.

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