Smithsonian

Janet Schaw, Journal of a Lady of Quality

At present the martial law stands thus: An officer or committeeman enters a plantation with his posse. The alternative is proposed. Agree to join us [Whigs] and your persons and properties are safe . . . if you refuse, we are directly to cut up your corn, shoot your pigs, burn your houses, seize your Negroes and perhaps tar and feather yourself. Not to choose the first requires more courage than they are possessed of, and I believe this method has seldom failed with the lower sort.

Source: Janet Schaw, Journal of a Lady of Quality, June 1775. Schaw was a Scot visiting her brother, a merchant, in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she was strongly critical of the local Whig regime.