The original purpose of the Bostonia Allarum Companie was to warn of imminent Indian attack in the early 1600s. The allarum drum, the most advanced communication product available at that time, was complimented by the more powerful, but less informative, musket report and church bell. In time as Boston became more secure our services became more and more infrequent. Whereas other companies continued the alarm function in the countryside near the frontier, the BAC's duties in Boston became more ceremonial and even entertaining. In the Great Indian Wars, the BAC promoted patriotism and recruitment of Bostonians to join the militia defending our frontier in a tradition called "following the drum" in performances on the Boston Common and the city streets.
After the war the BAC and rural militias fostered American
patriotism and separation from England. In fact, in the
mid-1700s the BAC came into disrepute due to the intense
anti-British activities of many of its members. The rather
conservative nature of more prosperous Bostonians was
Finally in the early 1770s, the group faded into the darkness of history when the BAC's rabid revolutionaries became more interested in the political activities of the Sons of Liberty than in the frivolities of making music.
Recreated today and being even farther from the frontiers of war, our function has become completely entertaining with great ceremony. We now welcome women into our ranks. We don't wear uniforms, except on request. We dress as colonial civilians, carry flags, and play the fife, the snare, and bass drum with a proficiency unheard in colonial times. In addition to ceremony and parade, our primary function these days is to defend our fair town against the invasion of conventioneers. When the network of entertainment companies spy the imminent arrival of these dreaded folk, the Allarum Drummer sounds the alarm over the internet and a cadre of fifes, drums, and flags is roused to meet the invaders at their opening meetings. They invariably retreat from Bostonia in a few days time.
Keeping the spirit,