|Tithing men were appointed on the basis of
their prudent citizenship of the town. Their purpose was to make
sure that all root out the improper education of servants and children,
disorderly citizens, those who broke Sabbath (the day in some religions
on which no labor or action should occur except for the worship of god),
atheists, and those who used profanity.
Tithing men could be identified by the poles that they carried.
The poles were two feet long, black, and tipped with brass Often,
a rabbits foot or fur would be hung from the end opposite the
brass. The poles were used to keep citizens in line in
church. The brass end was used to wake up any men who had fallen
asleep in church, or to correct misbehaving boys. The rabbits foot
would be used to wake up women who had fallen asleep in church by
brushing it across their faces.