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To the Most Famous Lord Doctor Carl Linnaeus, from Peter Petersen

Several weeks ago, Most Noble Sir, I commended a young man from Holm to you for instruction and for learning; but now make so bold as to send my son Johann Christian to your seat of learning for his care and instruction. I do not doubt that you will accept him warmly among your students, and I hope indeed that you will be good enough through your kindness and your assistance to bring my son easily at last to what he seeks to obtain.

I do not know whether he should dedicate himself to the study of theology or medicine, because it is not yet certain which of these suits his constitution. Whether he chooses the former or the latter, it will be most convenient and useful to him if he will have you as his guide and teacher.

Meanwhile, I ask and request that you will inform me of your judgement about which subject my son is most suited for and how this young man behaves himself at Uppsala, as you have the opportunity.

I ask you to believe that your favor toward my son will always be recalled gratefully by me and that this kindness will be repaid with all measures as far as is in my power.

On other matters, send my greetings to your most honored wife, very best wishes for health and happiness to you and yours. Farewell, best of men and think well of me. At Holm, April 20, 1754.

Peter Petersen (von Heidenstam) 1754 letter to Carl Linnaeus paraphrased from the original Latin,
courtesy of Professor Peter Barker, Dept of the History of Science, University of Oklahoma