Committees of Protection, Correspondence and Safety
of the various States
United under and by
Constitution for the United States of America
updated April 13, 2012
A committee of Safety is an association of people with common interests.
What do you need to start one?
The Founding Fathers established Committees of Correspondence, under the direction of Samuel Adams. As the situation grew worse, these Committees adopted the need to provide for Safety and Protection. Some Committees were allowed to act in the stead of the colonial assemblies during their recess. There was no illegitimate or unlawful aspect to any of the Committees. They were open to all who would, after the beginning of hostilities, subscribe to the Association. Even after the Declaration, the British never held the Committees for any acts against the Crown. Prudently, however, the more active members made a point of being scarce if the British were in town.
Officers of the Committees generally held there office for either six months or one year. They then, voluntarily, stepped down to allow others to carry out the responsibilities of office. No man was above another, nor could any become a ruler. Consensus seemed to be the rule within the Committees.
In May of 1774, the Boston Committee had sent a circular to throughout the colonies -- asking for the other colonies to stop trading with the British. In New York, the Committee called for a continental congress to deal with the issue. Their response to Boston, dated May 23, 1774, was the proposal that resulted in the First Continental Congress.
The Albany, New York Committee prescribed an Oath of Secrecy to be taken by their members.
Information which may be of assistance in starting your local Committee of Safety:
Committees of Safety - Volume I -- historical information and an explanation of how to establish a Committee of Safety (PDF)
Committees of Safety - Volume II -- a continuation from Volume I (PDF)
Have You Given You Consent Handbill -- a DOC to be used to print 2-sided handbills to provide notice of meetings
Committee of Safety Subscription form -- A form used by the Central Florida Committee of Safety - has restrictions on participation (PDF)
Committee of Safety Subscription form -- A generic form (PDF)
Historical Documents pertaining to Committees of Safety -- prepared by the St. Joseph, Indiana, Committee of Safety (PDF large 37 mb)
General Association and Secrecy Oath -- Sample forms (PDF)
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