Publisher Information: Paris: 1796.
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste (1744-1829). Autograph receipt signed. 1 sheet. Paris, “19 thermidor, l’an quatre de la république” [6 August 1796]. 250 x 194 mm. Stamp (possibly that of a notary) on verso. Traces of former mounting, but fine otherwise.
Rare signed document by Lamarck, best known as an early evolutionary theorist, and particularly for his belief that an animal’s environment could stimulate it to acquire certain physical characteristics (such as a neck made long by stretching it to eat from trees) that would then be passed on to subsequent generations. Lamarck here acknowledges receipt of 240 livres in cash for his work on the Encyclopédie methodique:
Je reconnois avoir reçu du Citoyen Agasse la somme de deux cent quarante livres en numeraires, à compte de mes travaux pour l’encyclopedie, à Paris ce dix-neuf thermidor, l’an quatre de la République. Lamarck.
The Encyclopédie methodique, a greatly expanded and reorganized version of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, was published by Charles Joseph Panckouke (1736-98) and his heirs between 1781 and 1832. Lamarck’s contribution to the Encyclopédie consisted of vols. 1-3 and half of vol. 4 of the 8-volume Dictionnaire de botanique (1783-95), along with the 3-volume Illustration des genres (1791-1800).Book Id: 45301