Peter Forsskal: Thoughts on Civil Liberty
First edition
  By David J. Shaw
  Forsskål's Thoughts on Civil Liberty (Tankar om borgerliga friheten) was printed in Stockholm on 23 November 1759 in a version which Forsskål had modified in consultation with the official censor Oelreich. On the very day of publication, the Kanslikollegium met and decided to ban the book. The Rector of the University of Uppsala, Forsskål's former teacher Linnaeus (Carl von Linné), was instructed to gather in all copies. Of the 500 copies printed, only 79 could be found and destroyed. In February 1760 an official ban on the publication of the work was promulgated. Its title page is reproduced below (no. 2).
  We list surviving copies of the first and second editions. If you know of the existence of other copies, we should be pleased to be able to add them to this list.
  Texts printed in the eighteenth century:
1. 1759 (first edition)    

Tankar om borgerliga friheten.
Stockholm: tryckt hos directeuren Lars Salvius, 1759.
4°: [1–3] 4–8 p.; 4 leaves, signed )(2, )(3.

)(1r 'Tankar | Om | Borgerliga | Friheten. | [row of type ornaments] | STOCKHOLM, | Tryckt hos Directeuren LARS SALVIUS, 1759.';
)(1v 'Imprimatur | N. VON OLREICH.';
)(2r '[headband, 25x104 mm] | §. 1. | J5u mera man får lefwa efter egit behag, ju mera tror man | sig wara fri. ...';
on )(8v 'GUD den Allrahögsta, som wårdar menniskjors sällhet, föröke | wår Swenska Frihet, och beware den til | ewärdeliga tider! | [group of type ornaments]'.
Copies recorded:
  • Sweden
    • National Library of Sweden, Stockholm
      1. 1700-1829 53 Ea Br. 1759 (Ex.: A)
      2. 1700-1829 53 Ea Br. 1759 (Ex.: B)
    • Bergius Collection, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm University Library (Berg. Bibl. H. V: 6.n.11)
    • Riksdagsbiblioteket, Stockholm
      1. Sv polit 1759, Forsskål Ex. A
      2. [second copy?]
    • University Library, Uppsala
      1. Sv. Polit. Skr. Kaps.
      2. MS U 141, acquired in 1790, previous owner Sigfrid Lorentz Gahm (1725–1794)
      3. Westin, Polit.Skr.4o.Kaps
      4. MS Nordin 949.9
        [MS Nordin 945.14 is a MS copy of the 1759 edition.]
    • University Library, Gothenburg (RAR-Saml. 8:o 192)
    • University Library, Lund (Äldre Samlingen Sv Hist Sv Polit [1759] Br)
    • City Library, Växjö (Stiftsbiblioteket Arkiv 1 Linnésamlingen)
    • Private collection
  • Finland
    • National Library of Finland, Helsinki
      1. H Cal.-Naum. B.6.21, previous owner probably Professor Christian Naumann (1810–1888)
      2. H Reenpää Filosofia Forsskål, collection donated by Professor Heikki A. Reenpää in 2004
    • Library of Parliament, Helsinki (XIX.2.c Forsskål Per)
    • University Library, Turku (PÄÄ Fennica s.Ai.II.86)
  • United Kingdom
    • British Library, London (Cup.410.f.491; acquired in 1993 from Bennett Gilbert, Los Angeles)
    • Natural History Museum, London (stamped 'Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. 23 June [19]28')
  • United States
    • Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation,
      Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
2. 1760 (proclamation banning publication)    
Proclamation banning publication
Kongl. Maj:ts Nådiga Förbud emot en af trycket utkommen skrift, under titul: Tankar om borgerliga friheten &c. Gifwit Stockholm i Råd-Cammaren then 28. Februarii 1760. [Stockholm] : Tryckt uti Kongl. Tryckeriet, [1760]. 4 pages: 4°.  
3. 1792 (second edition)
Tankar om borgerliga friheten, i anledning af den nu så allmänt omtalade frihets-principen hos fransoserna.
Stockholm: Tryckt hos Johan A. Carlbohm, 1792. 12 pages: 8°.
Copies recorded:
  • Sweden
    • National Library of Sweden, Stockholm (1700-1829 53 Ea Br. 1759)
    • City Archives, Stockholm (110:1:170 (R.S.))
    • University Library, Lund (Äldre Samlingen Sv Hist Sv Polit [1759] Br)
    • University Library, Uppsala (Sv. Polit. Skr. Kaps.)
  • Finland
    • National Library of Finland, Helsinki (Calonius-Naumann B 116:5)
Gunilla Jonsson, 'The second edition of Peter Forsskål's Tankar om borgerliga friheten, 1792: Who published it?'
  4. The Censor's changes to Forsskål's text
  Gunilla Jonsson has prepared a chart showing the variants between Forsskål's original manuscript, the 1759 printed version (as modified by negotiation with the official Censor), and the posthumous edition published in 1792, together with a brief introductory essay.
  Variants in Peter Forsskål's Tankar om Borgerliga Friheten
  David J. Shaw