Intemperate language

To the Editor:

Fred Benson’s entertaining “Capitol Commentary” based on George Washington’s youthful penmanship exercise outlining “Rules for Civility and Decent Behavior” gives the false impression that the mature general and later president never used intemperate language.

At the June 28, 1778 Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, Washington chastised General Charles Lee for failing to press the attack. A colonel nearby noted “Never have I enjoyed such swearing before or since.”

Later as president, he had to deal with an increasingly factious Cabinet. Thomas Jefferson noted that Washington sometimes lost his temper and strongly berated his critics.

William A. Brewer

Rochester, N.Y.

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