The Hoggs of Texas
Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906
Publication Year: 2014
Rich in details, the more than four hundred letters in this volume begin in 1887 in 1906, following the family through the hurly-burly of Texas politics and the ups-and-downs of their own lives.
The letters illuminate the little-known private life of one of Texas’s most famous families. Like all families, the Hoggs were far from perfect. Governor James Stephen Hogg (sometimes called "Stupendous" for his 6'3", 300-plus pound frame), who lived and breathed politics, did his best to balance his career with the needs of his wife and children. His frequent travels were hard on his wife and children. Wife Sallie’s years of illness casted a pall over the household. Son Will and his father were not close. Sons Mike and Tom did poorly in school. Daughter Ima may have had a secret romance. Hogg’s sister, “Aunt Fannie,” was a domestic tyrant.
The letters in this volume, often poignant and amusing, are interspersed liberally with portions of Ima Hogg's personal memoir and informative commentary from historian Virginia Bernhard. They show the Hoggs as their world changed, as Texas and the nation left horse-and-buggy days and entered the twentieth century.
Published by: Texas State Historical Association
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Title Page, Copyright
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As a historian who specializes in seventeenth-century Virginia and Bermuda, I never imagined I would spend so much time with Ima Hogg in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Texas. My interest in her grew after I took my students to visit Bayou Bend, the house she filled with early American antiques and gave to the...
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All that most people know about the Hogg family of Texas is that they had a daughter named Ima. But there is much more to their story. The Hoggs—the larger-than-life James Stephen (he stood six feet three inches and weighed nearly three hundred pounds), governor of Texas from 1890 to 1894; his petite wife,...
Note on Sources
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The Hogg Family: Three Generations
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List of Illustrations
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The Letter Writers
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Part I The Happy Family
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In 1890, after two terms as attorney general, Jim Hogg, age thirty-nine, was elected governor of Texas. By then Jim and Sallie had four children—Will, age fifteen; Ima, eight; Mike, five; and Tom, three—to move into the Governor’s Mansion. It would be their home for the next four years. They filled the grand antebellum house...
Part II At Home and Away1892–1895
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Politics was meat and drink to Jim Hogg, and his appetite was as large as his person. He relished the crowds he attracted and the speeches he gave, in Texas and elsewhere. In his second term as governor and the year after he left office, he traveled constantly,...
Part III Bereavement and Consolation 1895–1900
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Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg was only forty-one years old when she died. There must have been farewells, last words, between Sallie and her husband and children, but they were not recorded. Perhaps because her last days were such a sad time to recall, no one wrote much about them, then or afterward....
Part IV High Hopes1901–1906
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On January 10, 1901, the Spindletop gusher blew an oil boom into Texas and ended an era of happy domesticity in the Hoggs’ Nineteenth Street home. By September the house’s occupants had all left it for good, and they would never again all live under the same roof. Jim Hogg, building his oil syndicate, shuttled...
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Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2014