Winter 2017 Issue

Happy Presidents’ Day!

In honor of Presidents’ Day and our first president, George Washington, Larry the Squirrel has donned presidential attire, and the gang has provided a few fun stories and facts about President George Washington.

Enjoy the presidential issue,

Larry the Squirrel and the gang at
Squirrels at the Door Publishing

George Washington’s 110 Golden Rules 

As part of his school work, a young George Washington had to copy 110 rules using a quill feather pen. It wasn’t even punishment!

He copied the rules of civility or how to act, dress, and eat in public from a book called Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. All 110 rules were based on the Golden Rule: that you should treat others the way you wanted to be treated.

By the time young George had copied them all, he had not only practiced his handwriting, but he had taken the rules to heart. The first man to write a book about him, said, “No wonder everybody honored him who honored everybody.”

Young George saved his copied list of rules and they are in the Library of Congress today. He wrote them with great care, with many curly, curving letters. Too bad mice chewed the bottom of the papers before they were preserved.

You might think that practicing his handwriting helped him sign The Declaration of Independence but George Washington did not sign it. He was already fighting for America’s freedom against the British.

He applied the rules even during the worst of times

The winter that George Washington lead the fight for America’s freedom was a cruel one. Many troops were starving, and they shivered and froze in too few clothes. Some didn’t have shoes and their feet were wrapped in cloths. They wanted to go through the towns and take food from the people. But most of all, they wanted to go home.


George Washington encouraged them to keep fighting. If they needed food, he said, they should respectfully ask for it from the people even if it meant getting less food. On top of that, he asked them not to swear. The troops rallied and continued fighting until they won America’s freedom from the British. Then, they and others elected George Washington as the first president of the United States.

The Rules

A few of the rules of civility that George Washington had to copy are listed below. They were written in 1595, about the time of America’s first settlements, so they might be a little difficult to understand and seem funny. You can see the real rules with their strange spellings and way of capitalizing all the nouns at Project Gutenberg.
  • Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
  • Read no letters, books, or papers in company, but when there is a necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave.
  • Let your countenance (your face) be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.
  • Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
  • Kill no vermin, as fleas, lice, ticks etc., in the sight of others. If you see any filth or thick spittle put your foot dexterously upon it, if it be upon the clothes of your companions put it off privately, and if it be upon your own clothes return thanks to him who puts it off.

What do you think? Would you use them today?