Friday, November 14, 2008

What Exactly is a Sloughter?

Half of this article explains what exactly a “sloughter” is, and the other half is about Sloughter’s Instant History of Schoharie County, written by Lester and Anne Hendrix.

What does “sloughter” mean exactly. Well, there are a few definitions. One definition states that a sloughter is a disreputable person, a horse thief, or a traitor. Another states that a sloughter is a native to the county, or is a resident of West Middleburgh. Actually, a teacher by the name of Catherine S. Lawrence said that people from Schoharie were “ignorant and illiterate. They were a neglected, despised class of people...” Yet another definition of a sloughter. Anne Hendrix gives her own definition. She says that “you’re a sloughter if your heart is in Schoharie County.” In recent years, though, the word sloughter is somewhat of a compliment.

The second part of the article explains the Sloughter’s Instant History of Schoharie County. The book is an amalgam of local history, tracing the settlement of Schoharie County to the flooding of Gilboa for the New York City reservoir a half century ago. It includes biographies, legends, folklore, and provides population figures for nearly 200 years. Thirty-four pictures and drawings are contained within the book, and so are five maps, and chapters about the settlements by the Germans, and the Dutch.

Although this book summarizes the history of Schoharie county, you cannot compare it to local historians who know the history of Schoharie County backwards and forwards.

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