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Peter Kalm

(1716—1779) botanist


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(1716–79), Swedish scientist and traveler, a pupil of Linnaeus, was sent to America (1748–51) by the Swedish Academy of Sciences. He visited Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and southern Canada, was the guest of such prominent men as Franklin, and, although chiefly concerned with botanical studies, was a shrewd observer of people and institutions. He wrote an account of his journey, published in Sweden (3 vols., 1753–61) and translated as Travels into North America … (1770–71). The manuscript of his fourth volume was destroyed by fire, but notes for it were discovered and published in 1929. A complete American edition was edited by Adolph B. Benson as The America of 1750: Peter Kalm's Travels in North America (2 vols., 1937).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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