Over the past several decades American historians have emphasized the importance of New England ministers as town leaders during the colonial and Revolutionary eras. Recently, several scholars have examined changing roles of Congregational and Presbyterian pastors from the 1630s to the early nineteenth century. Ministerial dismissals are an important aspect of this subject, yet historians have not given this topic the critical analysis it deserves. This essay will discuss the nature of these dismissals and explain their significance in relation to several broad questions of social change in New England prior to 1790. Although New Hampshire's experience with clerical removals was not necessarily representative of New England, that state merits special attention because it has been neglected in studies of this period.