Proceedings of the Committees of Safety: Cumberland and Isle of Wight Counties, Virginia, 1775-1776

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Edited by H. R. McIlwaine

The first Continental Congress, which met on the 5th of September, 1774, adopted on the 20th of October a paper called the "Association". This was in its most important features a strict non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement made by the delegates of the various English colonies in America in reference to all articles of trade with Great Britain and signed on behalf of themselves and their constituents. The necessity that there should be local agencies for the execution of the "Association", in addition to the committees of correspondence already in existence in the several colonies, caused the insertion in the document of a provision that a committee should be chosen in each county, city, and town in the country.

In accordance with this provision of the "Association" local committees were formed very shortly all over the land, and the way in which they carried out the suggestions of directions made by the Continental Congress and by provincial congresses or conventions may be seen in the Cumberland and Isle of Wight proceedings within this slim history. The Virginia county committees soon became the actual governments in great measure of their respective communities until the provisions of Virginia's first constitution, adopted in June of 1776, went into effect.

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