Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Harmon Courter, 30 October 1780

From Harmon Courter

ALS: American Philosophical Society

L’Orient 30th October 1780


I wrote you the 2d Inst. again troubled you with a few lines. I acquaint you that I have been unfortunate enough to loose my Ship in this Harbour, by receiving much damage in a Gale of Wind On the 10th. Inst.8 In consequence of which thought well to Overhall her, and found her unfit for Sea: As you are at the helm Of affairs, and I entertaining the highest Oppinion of your friendshipe for me; from a former Circemstance, thout it did Not suceed requests your Interest in point of procuring me A Ship, The Tarepscord9 is now in this Harbour; and I undrestand no one as yet appointed to her Command; I am here with 100 Officers and men reaedy to Step on board Of a Ship; If you think well should be happy to except Of her, or any other Ship of Ware, upon due encouragement I can raise any number of men here, that may be Necessary to compleat a Crew.1

My Command that you’l be pleas’d to appoint Me too, will be manfully and faithfully discharged by Honoured Sir your most Obdt Humble Sarvt

Harmon Courter

P.S. Sir I request you answer by the returne of the Post

The Honble: Benj Franklin

Addressed: The Honble: Benj Franklin Esqr. / pasay / Parris / per Post

Notations in different hands:2 Hamon Couter. L’Orient. 30 Oct 1780. / Ansd 5 Nov 80 by W.T.F.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The same storm which struck the Ariel, Duke of Leinster, and Luke.

9The Terpsichore: XXXII, 581n.

1On Nov. 5 WTF responds on behalf of his grandfather, who was incapacitated by gout: “he cannot possibly undertake to sollicit this Government to give you the Command of the Terpsicore or any other Vessel whatever.— He has already been brought into so many Difficulties by making such Requests, that he has resolved never more to have anything to do with such Business: In which he is totally ignorant.” He has, however, desired a friend to write to Dunkerque to ask whether there is any armateur there who is in need of officers and men to equip her. As soon as he receives an answer he will inform Courter. Library of Congress.

2The second of these is in WTF’s hand.

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