East Indian Journey during the Years 1748 and 1749


Ost-Indisk Resa 1748 och 1749 (East Indian journey during the years 1748 and 1749) is a journal written by Gustaf Fredrik Hjortberg (1724‒76). It is one of the remaining extant journals and shipping records from the Svenska Ostindiska Companiet (SOIC—Swedish East India Company), which existed from 1731 to 1813. The Dutch, British, and Portuguese were the first naval powers to trade profitably with the East Indies, and from its beginning the SOIC was also very successful. It was the largest mercantile company of its day in Sweden, trading primarily in tea, but also in porcelain, silk, spices, and other wares. Hjortberg was a ship’s doctor on three of the company’s journeys between 1748 and 1753. He left reports from his journeys to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; among the reports are some zoological observations. After Hjortberg’s return to Sweden, he was appointed vicar in Vallda, a parish in the south of Sweden. The manuscript is bound in a red speckled paper volume of quarto size. It consists of 179 pages, among which are three maps. It was formerly a part of the library of Drottningholm Palace (catalogue number 50), the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It was at some point transferred to the library of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It has been a part of the manuscript collection of the National Library of Sweden since 1942.

Last updated: February 18, 2016