Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Kalm, Peter

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KALM, Peter, botanist, b. in Ostro Bothnia, Sweden, in 1715; d. in Abo, Sweden, 16 Nov., 1779. He was educated at Upsala and Abo, and after travelling extensively in Russia, was sent by the Swedish government, at the suggestion of Linnaeus, to investigate the botany and natural history of North America. Landing in Philadelphia in 1748, he spent three years in Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada, and returning to Abo became a professor of natural history there. He was afterward elected a member of the Stockholm academy of sciences, and created knight of the Order of Vasa. The evergreen plant kalmia was named in his honor. Besides several scientific works, he wrote “A Voyage to North America,” an account of the soils and the natural curiosities of this country (Abo, 1753-'61; English translation, London, 1772).