From Tensta, in southern Sweden,1 we drove north to the town of Piteå, in northern Sweden. In the old town of Öjebyn we had a very nice meeting with Mr Ivar Gustafsson, chairman of the Solanderföreningen (Solander Society).2 Ivar gave us a very detailed introduction to Öjebyn.
Daniel Solander was born here on 19 February, 1733. Two days later he was baptised in the church, of which his father (Carl Solander) was deputy rector, and his father (Daniel Solander) was rector.
Daniel’s birthplace is today marked with a memorial known as the “Solanders stenar” (Stones of Solander).3 It symbolises the circumnavigation he undertook with a globe and sea waves. This memorial was officially dedicated by Princess Victoria of Sweden.
In the local museum were several memorabilia to Daniel Solander, as well as a model of Endeavour. Michael was lucky to sleep overnight in the cabin of Daniel Solander during his voyage in the Endeavour Replica some years ago.
Earlier in our Swedish trip, whilst we were at Hammarby,4 we heard a lovely anecdote. Carl von Linné during his trip to Lapland in 1732 stayed overnight with the Solander family. And nine months later the little Daniel Solander was born! Later in Uppsala, Linné took great care of Daniel Solander and supported him very much. During his stay in Uppsala, Daniel Solander fell in love with Linné’s daughter. When Linné heard about this romance, he quickly sent the young Daniel to England.
Ivar told us he didn’t believe the Hammarby version of events, but it makes for a lovely story. We also learned that Solander’s house was burned in a “cloak-and-dagger-operation” by some property people.
Daniel Solander began his studies at Uppsala University in 1750, staying with his uncle (another Daniel Solander). Whilst there, he attended lectures on botany by Linné.
Teija and Michael Spiekien
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 22, volume 38, number 3 (2015).
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