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15-11-10, 10:21
Pehr Kalm & Black Philadelphia: An 18th Century View
By Lawrence Backlund

Pehr (Peter) Kalm, a student of the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, was sent to North America by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748-51 to collect plants and seeds for transplantation to Sweden. He proved to be an avid collector (600 samples, 60 “new” species), intrepid traveler (Philadelphia to French Canada), and observant social commentator, including some remarks on the Black population of the Delaware Valley and Philadelphia.
Kalm’s observations are of some value, despite their anecdotal nature. He faithfully recorded nearly everything he was told. In fact, one modern biographer calls Kalm “gullible,” as a result. Yet, he witnessed the Black community before the massive influx of African slaves in the late 18th century. His testimony provides a unique opportunity to glean insights into Philadelphia’s Black community before the American Revolution..."


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The full article can be found in the on-line Quarterly which can be made accessible to SFHS members
here on Finlander. If you are an SFHS member and have been given access
then the on-line issue is found here: The Quarterly - Fall 2010.
If you are a member and want to gain access to the on-line Quarterly - or if you
want to apply for membership in order to gain access - please visit this page (http://finlander.genealogia.fi/sfhswiki/index.php/The_on-line_Quarterly).