«

»

Feb 10 2021

Cartnoon

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed aka John Chapman

Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts, the second child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Chapman (née Simonds, married February 8, 1770). His birthplace has a granite marker, and the street is now called Johnny Appleseed Lane.

Chapman’s mother, Elizabeth, died in 1776 shortly after giving birth to a second son, Nathaniel Jr., who died a few days later. His father, Nathaniel, who was in the military, returned in 1780 to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where, in the summer of 1780, he married Lucy Cooley.

According to some accounts, an 18-year-old John persuaded his 11-year-old brother Nathaniel Cooley Chapman to go west with him in 1792. The duo apparently lived a nomadic life until their father brought his large family west in 1805 and met up with them in Ohio. The younger Nathaniel decided to stay and help their father farm the land.

Shortly after the brothers parted ways, John began his apprenticeship as an orchardist under a Mr. Crawford, who had apple orchards, thus inspiring his life’s journey of planting apple trees.

There are stories of Johnny Appleseed practicing his nurseryman craft in the area of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and of picking seeds from the pomace at Potomac River cider mills in the late 1790s.[1] Another story has Chapman living in Pittsburgh on Grant’s Hill in 1794 at the time of the Whiskey Rebellion.

The popular image is of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds randomly everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. He planted his first nursery on the bank of Brokenstraw Creek, south of Warren, Pennsylvania. Next, he seems to have moved to Venango County, along the shore of French Creek, but many of these nurseries were in the Mohican River area of north-central Ohio. This area included the towns of Mansfield, Lisbon, Lucas, Perrysville, and Loudonville.

The story of Johnny Appleseed almost ended in 1819 in Ohio. One morning he was picking hops in a tree when he fell and caught his neck in the fork of the tree. Shortly after he fell one of his helpers, an eight year old boy, found him struggling in the tree. Unable to get him out of the tree, young John White cut the tree down, saving Chapman’s life.

According to Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, toward the end of his career he was present when an itinerant missionary was exhorting an open-air congregation in Mansfield, Ohio. The sermon was long and severe on the topic of extravagance, because the pioneers were buying such indulgences as calico and imported tea. “Where now is there a man who, like the primitive Christians, is traveling to heaven barefooted and clad in coarse raiment?” the preacher repeatedly asked until Johnny Appleseed, his endurance worn out, walked up to the preacher, put his bare foot on the stump that had served as a podium, and said, “Here’s your primitive Christian!” The flummoxed sermonizer dismissed the congregation.

He would tell stories to children and spread The New Church gospel to the adults, receiving a floor to sleep on for the night, and sometimes supper, in return. “We can hear him read now, just as he did that summer day, when we were busy quilting upstairs, and he lay near the door, his voice rising denunciatory and thrillin—strong and loud as the roar of wind and waves, then soft and soothing as the balmy airs that quivered the morning-glory leaves about his gray beard. His was a strange eloquence at times, and he was undoubtedly a man of genius,” reported a lady who knew him in his later years.[13] He made several trips back East, both to visit his sister and to replenish his supply of Swedenborgian literature.

He preached the gospel as he traveled, and during his travels he converted many Native Americans, whom he admired. The Native Americans regarded him as someone who had been touched by the Great Spirit, and even hostile tribes left him strictly alone.[14]

He cared very deeply about animals, including insects. Henry Howe visited all the counties in Ohio in the early nineteenth century and collected several stories from the 1830s, when Johnny Appleseed was still alive:

One cool autumnal night, while lying by his camp-fire in the woods, he observed that the mosquitoes flew in the blaze and were burned. Johnny, who wore on his head a tin utensil which answered both as a cap and a mush pot, filled it with water and quenched the fire, and afterwards remarked, “God forbid that I should build a fire for my comfort, that should be the means of destroying any of His creatures.” Another time, he allegedly made a camp-fire in a snowstorm at the end of a hollow log in which he intended to pass the night but found it occupied by a bear and cubs, so he removed his fire to the other end and slept on the snow in the open air, rather than disturb the bear.

In a story collected by Eric Braun, he had a pet wolf that had started following him after he healed its injured leg.

More controversially, he also planted dogfennel during his travels, believing that it was a useful medicinal herb. It is now regarded as a noxious, invasive weed.

According to another story, he heard that a horse was to be put down, so he bought the horse, bought a few grassy acres nearby, and turned it out to recover. When it did, he gave the horse to someone needy, exacting a promise to treat it humanely.

During his later life, he was a vegetarian.[19] He never married. He thought he would find his soulmate in heaven if she did not appear to him on earth.

TMC for ek hornbeck

Leave a Reply