From Harmon Courter: Two Letters
(I) and (II) LS: American Philosophical Society
L’Orient Decr. 1. 1780.
Yours of the 25th. Ulto5 I Just received. & those of a later date I answered the 24th Ulto. I could not Consistant with the Interest of my owners keep my Crew untill this date at their expence while so many American vessels being here, in which I have distributed most of them & Expect to take passage in one my self, will sale in about ten or twelve days—6 however if the Gentln.7 thinks well to give me the Command of the Cutter mentioned & I can get an answer before I sale for America, I will set off for Dunkirque with my Officers immediately & would not doubt of meeting with Success & Dispatch.— Am sir your Most Obedt. & Hble. Servt.
The Hono. Benjn. Franklin Esqr.
[c. December 1, 1780]8
My being well acquainted with the Coast of America, should therefore prefer the Ship if the Command of her could be obtained for me.— Your Hble servt.
His Excellency B. Franklin Esqr.
Addressed: His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr. / Minister Plenipotentiary for the United states / in America. / Passy Near Paris
Notations: Harman Courter. L’orient Decr. 1. 1780. / 2
5. Missing, but what it probably said is given in BF’s Nov. 25 letter to Destouches, above.
6. Courter was in Philadelphia on June 14, 1781, when he co-signed a bond for the brigantine James: Charles Henry Lincoln, comp., Naval Records of the American Revolution 1775–1788 (Washington, 1906), p. 356.
7. Presumably Destouches.
8. The two letters seem to have been sent jointly with a shared address sheet. They are the last known pieces of correspondence between BF and Courter.