Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Harmon Courter, 13 March 1778

From Harmon Courter2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

March 13th 1778


I received your packet Dated 20 Feby. of Messr. Leogene & Co. And paid him the postege Agreable to your Order.3 After seting out of Paris I got in burdoe [Bordeaux] in 3½ Days and the Carrage faild by the way Wich we was Detaind About 6 hours by it. And we Was Oblige to get Another Carrage wich Detaind us Obought 4 hours and Then We Set Out for byone [Bayonne] And Our Carrage faild Again but we arived in 1½ Day At byone And took Another C[arriage] and Proseaded for Corogne [Coruña] in Spain. After 2 Days we [were] Obliged to Leave the Carrage and bake [take] the Mul[es the] Roads being So bad and So much Snoe On the Moun[tains] We scarce Could Pase. The Snoe Was About 6 or 7 feet Deape but got in Corogne in 17 Days in the hole Time Continhu Snoeing And Raining but the Last 2 Days it Cleare up And Very Cold. The Courer brought me to the french Counsele and he informed Me the frigit had Arived 6 Days Agoe And the people Verey in Quisited to No My Bisnes And the General [illegible] asked Me What Maid Me Come Withe the Courer. I told him That I met him On the Road from Paris Goeing to burdo And I kepe Along With him And As I found the Ship had Saild Sume Time Agoe that I was to Take A passage in for Boston I was informed that Se Was gone to forrogn [Ferrol] Near Corogne And he Was fully Sadisfy. This Eaving I shall Embark On board in Disgise that No Man Shall No Ware [know where] I am gone.4 Messrs. Leogene Rendere Me All the Sarvis that I want And Maid his house My Home. Mr. Leogene informed that Capt. Cunningham Mr. hoge Was at Bilbo and he Expected him At Corogne.5 And now I conklude My Respect to you With helth and all your Undertaking and So I remain Your Most Humble Sarvant

Harmon Courter

Notations: Hermon Courter d’Espagne Mars 13 78 / Harman Courter. Mars 13. 1778

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Who was carrying dispatches for the commissioners, including copies of the treaties: above, XXV, 501 n, 682–3. A French translation of this letter, in which Courter appears as Courten, has a note that it was written to Silas Deane: Stevens, Facsimiles, VIII, no. 801. This may or may not be true; in any case BF received it after Deane’s departure.

3The packet had presumably gone by post after Courter had left Paris. For Michel Lagoanere see above, XXIV, 541 n.

4The Nymphe, Capt. Sainneville, had arrived at Coruña on March 3; she sailed with Courter from Ferrol on the 15th and arrived in Boston on May 5. Archives de la Marine B4 CXLI, 41–4; below, Courter to BF, May 5, Sainneville to BF, June 17.

5Gustavus Conyngham and William Hodge, who have frequently appeared before; for their difficulties in Bilbao see Neeser, Conyngham, pp. 122–4.

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