How old was George Washington when he chopped down the cherry tree?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the George Washington’s cherry tree story is just a myth. Where have you been, my friend?

It doesn’t mean George Washington wasn’t ethical as a child, however.

As a matter of fact, there’s evidence George was extremely moral in his formative years. As a schoolboy, he wrote rules of behavior for himself into an exercise book that still survives today.

What’s not clear is whether it was his own idea or that of his mother or schoolteacher. Decide for yourself. Following are some of them (rendered in his own boyhood spelling, capitalization, and punctuation):

Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.

Use no Reproachful Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile.

Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Deck’t, if your Shoes fit well, if your Skokings Sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.

While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

Be not Curious to Know the Affairs of Others neither approach those that Speak in Private.

It’s unbecoming to Stoop much to ones Meat Keep your Fingers clean Et when foul wipe them on a Corner of your Table Napkin.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment