Francis Cynric Sheridan (right, 1812-43) was a British foreign service officer who maintained a journal chronicling his impressions of the Republic of Texas in 1839 and 1840. He was not impressed with Texas, or Texans, who he characterized as “principally Bankrupts, Swindlers and Felons from the United States occasionally diversified with an Oasis of respectability which only renders the Desert of Villainy around more conspicuous by contrast.” His opinion of the Texas Navy at Galveston was hardly more generous:
The Schooners are pretty vessels, but I can’t say the same for the others neither can I for the officers of the Texian Navy generally speaking. These take a delight, after the effeminate fashion of the France, in allowing the hair to grow down the back, w of all the damnable fooleries ever introduced is the most damnable. It is neither cleanly or becoming, & is infinitely more ridiculous then if they were to turn it up behind & stick a large tortoise shell comb with gold knobs into it, after the manner of women. But if it’s bad when there is no curl at all & when their hair hangs down like the matted ends of a wet swab- and this is generally the case with these officers.
That’s okay, though — the Texians probably didn’t think much of him, either.
Image: National Portrait Gallery, London. Primary quotation from Francis C. Sheridan, Galveston Island: Or, a Few Months Off the Coast of Texas: The Journal of Francis C. Sheridan, Willis Winslow Pratt, Ed. (Austin, University of Texas Press, 1954).