From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
February 23. –Some time ago a Presbyterian minister, not far distant from North Haven, Connecticut, applied to a lieutenant of the militia to step into the market and give him the words of command, in order to his performing the manual exercise; the officer declined it, but being repeatedly pressed to a compliance, consented. The minister declared he had practised the military exercises with an intention of going to Boston against the King’s troops, if there should be occasion for his service. Having taken post in the market, he shouldered, faced, marched, and performed all the motions with much exactness, to the great delight of a turbulent Hibernian, who was about eighteen years ago sold in this part of the world, 1 and on all occasions insults the name and government of our most gracious sovereign, and bids defiance to the law. This republican thanked the divine for his fine performance, applauded his gallant resolutions, and conducted him to enjoy a mug of flip, at his own house. A gentleman passing by, whilst the puritan was exhibiting à la militaire, asked him if he had quite forsaken his spiritual for a soldier’s profession, on which the crowd menaced him with the discipline of tar and feathers, but the former secured himself by a precipitate retreat. 2
1 This probably refers to the custom of selling a man for the commission of a crime.
2 Rivington’s Gazette, Feb. 23.