There is a story I must relate, the longer version and original source being found at J. L. Bell’s site www.boston1775.blogspot.com under a post entitled "A Humorous Story About Town…" Though probably apocryphal, it is a perfect crystallization of the attitude of colonists who ran their own affairs from the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620 to the revocation of the second Massachusetts charter in 1774. It goes something like this:

It seems this redcoat named Patrick thought life would be much better in the New England countryside than it was in the British Army, and so one day he slipped away.

Having some military experience, and wishing to be of use to his new neighbors, it was agreed that he should supervise the drill of the village "training band" (militia) consisting of about 50 or so townsmen. Naturally the commander of his old regiment was not in favor of his new lifestyle, and after having received intelligence as to his whereabouts, a sergeant and eight men were sent to retrieve the miscreant.
This squad happened to arrive while drill upon the town green was taking place. The sergeant informed Patrick that he was under arrest, and ordered him to fall in for return to his regiment in Boston. "I beg your pardon, but I don’t think it possible for me to obey you at present, but I will see what can be done about it." was his response.
As the sergeant sputtered with indignation at this impertinent reply, the militia men gathered around curiously, and leaned on their muskets. "You see, we have ways of settling these things." the adopted Yankee continued.
"Resolved that I should be forced to return with the sergeant… All those in favor say ‘Aye.’" – silence.
"All those opposed…"
"Nay!" arose the cry.
"I’m afraid the resolution has failed to carry, Sergeant."
The sergeant, eying the armed citizens around him, thought discretion to be the better part of valor, and ordered his eight men to fall in without their quarry. Two of these soldiers conferred quietly, and one spoke up.
"I’d like to offer a motion that we two not be forced to go back with the sergeant."
"All those in favor…" Patrick called out.
"Aye!"
"Motion carries.."
The sergeant returned to Boston with six men.
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