At that, Johnson snapped. Lesslie instinctively threw up his arms to protect himself, then lunged for a loose paving stone nearby that he thought would make a good club. When Lesslie took a wild swing at Johnson, the cane flew from his hand, and Johnson drew his sword. Figuring he was no match for cold steel, the unarmed Lesslie took off at full speed, Johnson following close on his heels.
12 of George Washington's Rules of Civility That Still Apply
As he ran, Lesslie caught sight of an axe that had been left in the street. Grasping it, he then turned to defend himself. While the two combatants stared each other down, Colonel Ritzema approached Johnson and, talking some sense into him, diffused the fight.
Lesslie walked off to a tavern to lick his wounds, but when he later headed for home, he ran into Johnson again. His nemesis had gotten his cane back and was looking none too cordial. Once again, Lesslie took off at the run, followed by Johnson and several other officers. The fleet-footed wig maker headed for the one place that could afford safety, the meeting chambers of the New York provincial congress. Lesslie finally succeeded in grasping the cane, but Johnson continued the beating with his fists. Bystander Sampson Dyckman succeeded in prying the two men apart, and Johnson then ordered several other officers to take Lesslie to the guardhouse.
When members of the provincial congress were informed of the donnybrook later that day, they were outraged.
George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior
Both Johnson and Lesslie were called to testify in the house, and a motion was immediately forwarded to cashier Johnson. After a short debate, he was let off with little more than a slap on the hand. Lesslie, who returned to his wig making, received no formal apology. Robert Collins. Gunner William Lamb, who rushed to the scene to help Collins, put an abrupt end to the fracas when he knocked Gilfroy to the deck with a not-so-gentle blow from a crowbar.
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Long-running feuds can be a pretty ugly business, but for two particularly scrappy officers — Maj. Alexander McDougall and Col. Henry Beekman Livingston — personal vendetta was perfected to an art form. At the time of their epic squabble their respective ages were forty-five and twenty-six, although by their actions one might suspect they were five and six.
The trouble started during the aftermath of a British raid on Peekskill, New York. The two argued violently about the particulars of regimental returns before things really got ugly. Livingston responded that McDougall might not be able to kill him. After more screaming and wild gesticulation, McDougall had enough and offered a duel. Livingston eventually got off with nothing but a reprimand, but while he was under arrest and had nothing better to do with his time, he took his revenge by penning an anonymous but venom-filled handbill which he then passed around camp. He clearly put a good bit of effort into writing a remarkable masterpiece of hatefulness.
And he was a shabby dresser with no sense of fashion. When McDougall finally got his hands on a copy of the handbill, he passed it on to Gen.
George Clinton but took no further action. Try as they might to be otherwise, some folks are just hopeless pessimists.
That description certainly fit twenty-four-year-old Nicholas Cresswell, an unabashed Loyalist and gentleman adventurer who hoped to seek his fortune in Virginia. Cresswell was thoroughly disgusted by the Whig sentiments of his neighbors, and, if his diary is to be believed, the whole world was perpetually against him.
It certainly seemed that way during the sultry Virginia summer of The local physician, Dr. Just to make sure Cresswell was on the mend, the doctor sent a new batch of pills, with orders to take two in the morning and two in the evening. When Dr. Brown arrived the following morning, he turned ashen when he looked at the bottle of pills. He immediately clenched his fist and hit Brown square in the face. Brown eventually admitted that he had given Cresswell every reason for punching him in the face, and that he would accept no payment until Cresswell was fully recovered.
It was little solace to Cresswell, who recorded a timeless complaint. Sometimes, a simple lack of communication can lead to unfortunate misunderstandings.
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- Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation;
In speaking to men do not lean nor look them full in the face, nor approach too near them at least keep a full pace from them. In writing or speaking, give to every person his due. Do not argue.
Submit your ideas with humility. Strive not in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty. Undertake not to teach your equal in the art himself professes; it savors of arrogance. Do not express joy before one sick or in pain for that contrary passion will aggravate his misery. When a person does their best and fails, do not criticize him.
George Washington's Rules of Civility by Moncure D. Conway - Full Text Free Book
When a man does all he can though it does not succeed blame not him that did it. When you must give advice or criticism, consider the timing, whether it should be given in public or private, the manner and above all be gentle. If you are corrected, take it without argument. If you were wrongly judged, correct it later. Do not make fun of anything important to others. Mock not nor jest at anything of Importance. If you criticize someone else of something, make sure you are not guilty of it yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Wherein you reprove another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than precepts.
Use no reproachful language against any one neither curse nor revile.
Do not be quick to believe bad reports about others. Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any. Always allow reason to govern your actions. Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and commendable nature. In all causes of passion admit reason to govern. Never break the rules. Never express anything unbecoming, nor act immorally. Utter not base and frivolous things amongst grave and learned men. A person should not overly value their own accomplishments. A man ought not to value himself of his achievements, or rare qualities of wit; much less of his riches, virtue or kindred.
Speak not injurious words neither in jest nor earnest. Scoff at none although they give occasion.
Be not forward but always friendly and courteous. Do not detract from others nor be overbearing in giving orders. Detract not from others neither be excessive in commanding. Do not go where you are not wanted.
Do not give unasked-for advice. If two people disagree, do not take one side or the other. Be flexible in your own opinions and when you don't care, take the majority opinion. If two contend together, take not the part of either unconstrained; or be not obstinate in your own opinion, in things indifferent be of the major side. Do not correct others when it is not your place to do so.
When another speaks, be attentive yourself and disturb not the audience if any hesitate in his words help him not nor prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor answer him till his speech be ended. Don't compare yourselves amongst yourselves. Make no comparisons and if any of the company be commended for any brave act of virtue, commend not another for the same.
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