The Grantville Emergency Committee was formed by the Emergency Town Meeting three days after the Ring of Fire deposited Grantville in late May of 1631. The town council pronounced themselves unequal the tasks generated by the ROF crisis, so they enacted emergency measures to prioritize and allocate resources, govern the town on an interim basis, including long term planning and establishment of a more suitable governmental form, and the handling of the influx of refugees inundating Grantville in their short experience in the 17th, a count of which was estimated to be as high as the town's up-timer population. Fifty to 100 persons were empaneled on the committee, but the actual power was held by and exercised through the Emergency Committee Cabinet formed and populated at the behest of the Chairman of the Committee, Mike Stearns, who was elected by near unanimous acclaim after an impassioned speech denouncing John Chandler Simpson. The committee eventually developed out a new constitution and scheduled elections for what became the "New United States", but as early as the Battle of Jena, the townspeople were referring to themselves as the United States, and inveigling neighboring municipalities to throw off the yoke of authoritarian rule and join their new republic.
During the 1631 election, the entire Committee was elected to the House of Representatives.