Saturday, July 26, 2014

War in Europe, 1914: Ima was there.

When World War I broke out in August 1914 Ima was on her way to it.  She had sailed from Galveston, Texas, June 11 on the Chemnitz, a German ship bound for Bremen, Germany. (Was this another visit to someone she loved in Germany?) The Chemnitz was at sea when the fateful event that set off the war occurred: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Duchess Sophie (whom many historians forget about) were killed by a Serbian assassin in Sarajevo on June 28 (a date that also happened to be the couple’s wedding anniversary). That very day Austria declared war on Serbia.
The next day, on June 29, Ima Hogg sent a cable from the Chemnitz to her home in Houston:
“When news came of the Austro-Serbian conflict and the Triple-Alliance complications, our imaginations even pictured us being captured by an English cruiser in the Channel!” Traveling with friends, she was not really alarmed.

The latest news,” she wrote, “makes us think all will be peaceably settled.”

Little did she--or anyone else--know what was to come.

[i]  Ima Hogg to Will Hogg, July 29, 1914, Box 3B125, Family Papers, Ima Hogg Papers, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

“There’s nothing in a name....”

         Yet another salvo in the ongoing name controversy, a defense from an Ima fan who knew her and family.

         Governor Hogg’s daughter was, unfortunately, called Ima by her mother, who had some sentimental attachment to the name, and her parents never realized the disadvantage of it until she went to school and the children began to make fun of it. But it would have been untrue to the characteristics of her family to retreat under fire, so Miss Hogg kept her name, and, in spite of all temptation, continues to keep it, and to prove that there’s nothing in a name as a handicap to the right sort of person. Her three brothers--none of whom has freak names, though the same class of wits that invented “Ura” have endowed them with a choice collection--are all men of mark in their communities and a credit to their father’s influence and upbringing.
         May I not in this conjunction sign myself, as one of our most picturesque politicians always did,
         Ellen Maury Slayden, “of and for Texas.”
--Charlottesville, Va., Nov.4, 1922.
         Who was she?

          Ellen Maury Slayden (1860–1926). was born at the Maury family home, Piedmont, in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1860; she received her education from tutors at home. On June 12, 1883, she married James Luther Slayden, a merchant and rancher in San Antonio; they had no children. Mrs. Slayden served for a time in 1889 as society editor of the San Antonio Express. Upon her husband's election to Congress in 1896, they moved to Washington, where they maintained a residence for the next twenty-one years. She continued her writing, contributing to various magazines and newspapers, and was a tireless record keeper and diarist. Her notebooks concerning observations of the social and political life in Washington from 1897 to 1919 were left to her nephew F. Maury Maverick. Maverick's widow, Terrell Webb, with her second husband, Walter Prescott Webb, had the journal published in 1962 as Washington Wife. Ellen Slayden died in San Antonio on April 20, 1926.

Accessed 5/5/14.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

“In Justice to Gov. Hogg.”

         This letter from a Texas woman who had known James Stephen Hogg appeared in The New York Times, in 1922.

         I am surprised to see in The Times a repetition of that cheap and vulgar myth that “Governor Hogg of Texas called one twin daughter ‘Ima’ and the other ‘Ura.” It appears in an article by Mary Fisher Torrance in the Magazine Section of Oct. 16. The story might be dismissed by a simple statement of the fact that Governor Hogg had but one daughter, but when a man has done as much for his State and reflected such credit upon it as Governor Hogg did upon Texas it is not fair to let flippant writers go unchallenged when they pervert history and do injustice to a good and wise man for the sake of making a “snappy” article.
         The story gives a wrong impression of the Governor. Hogg, whom I knew well personally, was a man of good family and right traditions, a relative, I believe, of the “Ettrick Shepherd” (James Hogg) to whose portrait he bore a marked resemblance.

          James Hogg (1770-1835), James Stephen Hogg (1851-1906)


Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Who Gave You This Name?"

Ima had to put up with stories like this for most of her life:


"Who Gave You This Name?" By MARY FISHER TORRANCE

Worthy old 'Archbishop Peckham . . . thought it expedient to Issue a warning that " Minister shall take care not to permit wanton names to be give to children baptized; and if otherwise It be done, same shall be changed by the Bishop at confirmation."

What would his Worship have said, I wonder, had he sat in judgment in the case of Governor Hogg of Texas, who called one twin daughter " Ima," the other, " Ura"? But one never hears that the girls themselves took any exception in later years: probably because they were too thankful in the possession of a papa with a sense of humor. "

Twins? A new twist! 

But someone--not Ima, who shrugged off such items--responded. 
Log in next week.