Born in September of 1774, John Chapman (i.e. Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman in Leominster, Mass., on Sept. 26, 1774. —Vachel Lindsay, In Praise of Johnny Appleseed. For his stoicism, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and his selflessness, which they recognized as a manifestation of godliness, they seem to have revered him. And I'm Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program PEOPLE IN AMERICA. More than three hundred thousand apple seeds will fit in a single bushel, so he had his work cut out for him. There, he planted apple seedlings that grew and produced crops. He died in the home of a friend, William Worth. Government records show that John lived in the Allegheny Mountains in seventeen ninety-seven. Our great West, our old westering impulse, has become a costume jewel. This new marriage produced ten more children. The reason for John Chapman's life's work is unknown. His father, Nathaniel, was a carpenter and a farmer who earned modest wages with which to support his wife, Elizabeth, and his children. He preferred, if possible, nothing at all. He used his money to improve his apple business and help other people. Altogether, a documented total of twenty-two properties, amounting to twelve hundred acres, can be totted up that he leased or owned for a time. Johnny Appleseed was the name given to John Chapman. Johnny Appleseed was born September 26, 1775 in Leominster, Massachusetts, the second child of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Simonds) Chapman. Little is known about his childhood. Johnny Appleseed Early Life. He liked to read from the Christian holy book, the Bible. John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845), better known as Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as the northern counties of present-day West Virginia. But he liked to joke that Hades at its worst wouldn’t be worse than “smoky houses and scolding women” or “Newark,” a raunchy Ohio border settlement. He did use snuff, however, and would sip a dram of hard liquor to warm up in cold weather—if one can generalize fairly about his conduct from isolated instances of testimony about five decades of such intense and fervent activity. Removing his discolored Bible and Swedenborgian tracts from the pouch he created for them inside his smock by tying his belt tightly, he would ask with exuberance, “Will you have some fresh news right from Heaven?” While the men smoked or fleshed a fox skin and the women cooked or quilted, he read and extemporized, his voice now roaring scriptural denunciations of evil, now soft and soothing. The man who shaped the nursery field that we know of today and also helped conserve plantation, Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774. He was a frontier hero “of endurance that was voluntary, and of action that was creative and not sanguinary,” as that 1871 issue of. He had enough money for shelter and clothes if he had wanted to buy these things. However, some of the stories told about Johnny Appleseed over the years may not have been really true. Born and raised in Leominster, the man remembered as "Johnny Appleseed" left Massachusetts in the 1790s just as farmers were moving into the Midwest. First, he would find rich, fertile land in an open area. As the trees grew, he returned to repair the fence and care for the land. He transported sixteen bushels of apple seeds down the Ohio River in eighteen-oh-one. Apple vinegar was the basic preservative for pickling vegetables such as beans, cucumbers, and beets; apple butter was a principal pleasure of winter meals; and apple brandy was one of the first cash exports that could be floated downriver to New Orleans. Chapman died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1845, having planted apple trees as far west as Illinois or Iowa. Some people claimed they had seen Johnny Appleseed as far south as Texas. As a man accustomed to selling his goods for lOU’s, he saw his principal holdings forfeited for want of money. Though we have no proof that “Johnny Appleseed” was brought from his grandparents’ house in Leominster to grow up here, he probably did spend his later boyhood on the Connecticut River, learning to handle a raft and pirogue, learning about wildlife, with this new brood. Despite his small roach of a beard, unkemptly clipped, and his dark horny feet and deliberately apostolic costume, he kept himself clean, and “in his most desolate rags” was “never repulsive,” his acquaintances reported. In Steubenville, Cincinnati, and Urbana, Ohio, he knew the leading New Church Swedenborgians, and between his arrival in central and northern Ohio and the time of his death, Swedenborgian societies sprang up in at least twelve of the counties there, many individuals testifying that it was Chapman, the colporteur of Christian literature, who had first “planted the seed.”. Mansfield lay between the Clear and Black forks, and Mount Vernon was on the Kokosing, which wasn’t far off. He was an exceedingly vigorous soul, doubtless a whiz at wielding an axe (one posthumous legend has him competing with Paul Bunyan). On the contrary, he seems to have really believed that its noxious smell in every Ohio dooryard would ward off outbreaks of malaria. with three words (okay, one word, but I’m tired of talking about the the Patriots): fall, apple-picking, and cider. He believed that the soil produced everything necessary for humans. Although he would sometimes buy a worn-out horse to save it from mistreatment, boarding it with one of his friends for the winter—and though he scoured the woods in the fall for lame horses that the pioneers, packing their way through the country, had abandoned—apparently he believed that riding the beasts was discourteous to them, and he only employed a horse to carry his bags of seeds or, late in his life, to drag an old wagon. Johnny Appleseed is a major cultural icon here in Fort Wayne. Over time, some adults said they remembered receiving presents from Johnny Appleseed when they were children. He had been a local character, but there were other applemen who made a business of selling trees, mostly as a sideline to farming. He is said to have cleared land and planted apple seeds near a waterway. As most Chapmans know, Johnny Appleseed was a nickname for one of the many John Chapmans. He is more typical of the frontiersmen we remember. He lived very simply. He didn’t die there, but at the home of the Worth family on the St. Joseph River not far off, presumably of pneumonia contracted during a fifteen-mile trudge in mid-March, leading his black ox to repair an orchard fence that cattle had trampled down. In Ohio the Indians he knew were Delawares, Mohicans, and Wyandots, who were soon driven out of the state in the aftermath of the attacks they mounted (or allegedly hoped to mount) with British encouragement during the War of 1812. I'm Faith Lapidus. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. Yet Johnny Appleseed, too, has survived simply as a folk figure of whom little is known, as a memory fuzzy in outline, mainly inscribed in children’s literature and turn-of-the-century romances and poetry or Louis Bromfield novels. Two centuries later, some of those trees still produce fruit. Johnny Appleseed is the main protagonist from the Legend of Johnny Appleseed, a segment of the 1948 Disney package film Melody Time. His biographer makes the point that toward the close of his life, perhaps under Persis’ influence, he bought another two hundred acres, around Fort Wayne. “His mush-pan slapped on his windy head, his torn shirt flapping, his eyes alight, an American ghost,” wrote Frances Frost. He did not, but undoubtedly he gave seeds to pioneers who ventured much farther west. “… he ran with the rabbit and slept with the stream.”. Yet somehow, despite his eccentric demeanor, he was remarkably effective in the impression he made, “some rare force of gentle goodness dwelling in his looks and breathing in his words,” as W. D. Haley wrote in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for November, 1871, in the first biographical sketch which brought Johnny Appleseed to national attention. In 1822 he may have gone to Detroit to sightsee, and, around 1826, to Urbana and Cincinnati. He goes barefooted, can sleep anywhere, in house or out of house, and live upon the coarsest and most scanty fare. Chapman grew trees and supplied apple seeds to settlers in the middle western Great Lakes area. The sack had holes for his head and arms. After the article in Harper’s by W. D. Haley twenty-six years after his death, there was a sudden revival of interest in Johnny Appleseed, with people writing their recollections or hearsay memories of him to small-town newspapers throughout the Midwest. It was produced by Lawan Davis. Only four other settlers were in residence on the creek, but they were busy fellows who within ten years would be rafting pine logs clear to New Orleans. But sometimes he wore a large cloth bag or sack as clothing. Support with a donation>>. Both settlers and native Americans liked him. By 1816 Persis had moved with her family from Marietta to Perrysville, on the Mohican’s Black Fork. But where Johnny differed was that he alone had set himself the task of anticipating the patterns of settlement, as a public mission, across what had become by 1803 the state of Ohio. He never married. Houston praised Chapman's work as a labor of love. The Life of Johnny Appleseed. His earlier seedlings would have been ready to sell if five years had passed. In eighteen forty-five, John Chapman became sick and developed pneumonia during a visit to Fort Wayne. But Mr. Price reminds us that Chapman lived out his three score and ten years, and that the error of folklore is to simplify. Though he must have brewed gentler poultices for other poeple’s wounds, his method of healing his own was to sear the offending location with a hot piece of iron—as the Indians did—and then treat the burn. Learn about the man and the legend that go well beyond his fruitful name. And I'm Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program PEOPLE IN AMERICA.Today we tell about a man known as Johnny Appleseed. He would never sit down until he was sure that their children had enough to eat. He often sold his apple seeds to settlers. Johnny Appleseed, byname of John Chapman, (born September 26, 1774, Leominster, Massachusetts—died March 18?, 1845, near Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.), American missionary nurseryman of the North American frontier who helped prepare the way for 19th-century pioneers by supplying apple-tree nursery stock throughout the Midwest. He planted apple seeds in several areas near a place called Licking Creek. (Legend would later extend his travels all the way to California.) He did not interfere with the animals, and left before they knew he was there. Near Persis’ home in Fort Wayne, he had a log cabin and eleven cleared acres and timber cut for a barn, when he died in 1845. He said people in the future would remember his life and work. But we don’t know if Johnny preferred winter to summer apples, or sharp flavors to sweet. By middle age, he didn’t hesitate to introduce himself to strangers as “Johnny Appleseed,” enjoying his notoriety, but before accepting hospitality he would make sure there was plenty of food in the house for the children. His eyes were black and bright. Johnny Appleseed has sometimes been called the American Saint Francis of Assisi. When somebody jumped one of his land claims, his main concern seemed to be whether they would still let him take care of his apple trees. Chapman belonged to the Church of New Jerusalem, a religious group based on Swedenborg's teachings. We think of the swaggering, unscrupulous prototype frontiersman who bushwhacked Indians and scouted for the Long Knives, the mountainman who went into the bush with two horses and a squaw, and in order to live, ate his pack horse in January, his saddle horse in February, and his sad squaw in March. He had arrived on the Licking River in Ohio from the Allegheny in 1801, aged twenty-six. Mike Fink, a very rough guy who died twenty years earlier than Johnny on a trip to the Rockies, once set his common-law wife on fire in a pyre of leaves when she winked at another man. John Chapman was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in seventeen seventy-four. YOU CAN STILL VISIT ONE OF HIS TREES. They slowly traveled south and west from Massachusetts to the state of Pennsylvania. Lessons and Activities. Even today, some people still claim they are Johnny Appleseed. At that time, much of western Pennsylvania was undeveloped. For they could tell, Maybe he didn’t even long to participate in the drama of the Great West ahead. From the TinCaps baseball team to the epic Johnny Appleseed Festival every September, the man who planted apple trees and walked through much of Ohio and Indiana has left a legacy here that many like to recall.. That he loved apples, Anomalous, unassimilable, Johnny Appleseed was a frontiersman who would not eat meat, who wished not to kill so much as a rattlesnake, who pitied the very mosquitoes that flew into the smoke of his campfire. He was buried near Fort Wayne. At his death—so the Worths said—he had on a coffee sack, as well as the waist sections of four pairs of old pants cut off and slit so that they lapped “like shingles” around his hips, under an antiquated pair of pantaloons. Through these oak, hickory, and beech forests hogs ranged, as well as cattle, and there were great flocks of passenger pigeons, and wolves, which the more brutal pioneers skinned alive and turned loose to scare the rest of the pack. Apples offered something different in daily meals. He was a colorful pioneer of the Indiana … A man has appeared who seems to be almost independent of corporal wants and sufferings. He liked to plant on quarter-sections set aside for the support of the first schools, or might do so on an existing farm if the owner agreed to share what grew. He felt comfortable with children, and probably wistful, particularly with girls. He fought British troops in the battle of Concord in seventeen seventy-five. After a few years, Chapman left the hills of western Pennsylvania and traveled west into the Ohio Valley. This page is part of Stories About People which is part of Interesting Things for ESL Students. Was God’s own man. Another time, he was trapped in the wilderness during a severe snowstorm. Or he might strip slabs of bark from a giant elm and lay them against it for a lean-to, or toss together a quick Indian hut of poles and bark, stretching out on a bed of leaves inside. In good weather he slept outside; otherwise he would lie down on the floor close to the door of the cabin, as he “did not expect to sleep in a bed in the next world.” But one can picture the suppers of applesauce, apple pie, apple Strudel, apple dumplings, apple turnover, apple cider, apple butter, and apple brown betty he was served by farm wives who had settled in the vicinity of his nurseries. He died, unmarried, in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana March 18 1845. The belt of territory he worked in shifted gradually westward during the course of his life, but he wintered in the easternmost towns—after his strenuous summers at the borders of settlement—and so would migrate between several homesites, several circles of friends. One of his daughters, named Persis, and nineteen years younger than “Johnny Appleseed,” later was to play an important and softening role in Johnny’s life; but there is little evidence that John and Nathaniel ever troubled to see much of each other again, until 1842. It was an element in the myth of Johnny Appleseed that he could doze off in the most dangerous circumstances—so calm he was. In the gaudy parade of liars, killers, pranksters, boasters and boosters that fill up B. He spouted Biblical language, according to at least one witness, though inevitably there were some false alarms: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he hath anointed me to blow the trumpet in the wilderness, and sound an alarm in the forest; for behold, the tribes of the heathen are round about your doors, and a devouring flame followeth after them.” This is the self-dramatist in him that made Casey Jones, John Henry, and Davy Crockett heroes also. Today we tell about a man known as Johnny Appleseed. If he had kept a diary, he might be compared to John James Audubon and George Catlin, who come down to us through their own words and pictures, although—more of a frontiersman than they were—he worked humbly and busily to facilitate that frontier’s passing. I'm Faith Lapidus. The beast in its lair Chapman planted with thoughts about future markets for his crops. Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – February 18, 1845), At The turn of the century he shined and sold apples at 47th and Broadway streets in NY City. He stopped to establish a planting a couple of miles below town, and probably another at the mouth of the Muskingum, at Marietta, near where his father had settled the year before. Often he shucked corn, split rails, and girdled trees for his keep. Arriving at a house where he was known, he happily stretched out on his back on the floor near the door, with his head on his knapsack and his feet tilted up against the log wall. It is estimated that, during his lifetime, he planted enough trees to cover an area of about two hundred sixty thousand square kilometers. In 1792, Ohio Company of Associates granted homesteaders 100 acres of land if they ventured further into Ohio’s wilderness. They could be eaten raw, cooked or dried for eating during the winter. Free subscription >>, Please consider a donation to help us keep this American treasure alive. —From a report of the Society for Printing, Publishing and Circulating the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Manchester, England, January, 1817. John Chapmann, better known by his nickname "Johnny Appleseed", died and is buried near Fort Wayne Indiana sometime between 1845 and 1849. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of America. He was quick-talking and restlessly energetic as a visitor, but wind-beaten, hollow-cheeked, and gaunt-looking from eating so little and walking so far. Some people said he loved to watch the flowers on apple trees grow and change into tasty fruit. For years, he traveled alone in the wilderness, without a gun or knife. He believed that it was wrong to kill and eat any creature for food. Casey Jones died from driving his locomotive faster than he ought to have. He planted on loamy, grassy ground, usually at riverside, constructing a fence of the brush and trees that he had cut down, and girdling any bigger trees that stood near enough to cast their shade over the soil. But for a few years in central Ohio apparently he tried to become a practical man. It’s thought that John Chapman, around 1792, at the age of eighteen, set out with his half-brother Nathaniel, who was seven years younger, for this frontier. On his head, he wore a metal container for a hat. Johnny Appleseed died on March 18, 1845, at the age of 70, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was born—John Chapman—in poor circumstances in Leominster, in a cabin overlooking the Nashua River. His birthplace has a granite marker and a billboard, streets and schools bear his name and a wooden statue of him stands in City Hall. Apples grow up and down both coasts, and they flourish in the Northeast. From Toledo he traveled west up the Maumee River toward Indiana, working the banks of its tributaries—the Blanchard, the Auglaize, the St. Mary’s—the population of Ohio, meanwhile, having vaulted from 45,000 in 1800 to 580,000 in 1820. If you tried to eat one of John Chapman's apples, it … The marker over his burial place reads, "He lived for others.". Along came 10 ha… The location of his grave has also been a source of controversy for many years. When not in a coffee sack, he dressed in a collarless tow-linen smock or straight-sleeved coat that hung down to his heels, over a shirt and burr-studded pants that had been traded to him for his apple seeds. His mother died when he was very young, and his father moved to Longmeadow, Mass., and remarried. Did no hurt He was shy in a crowd but a regular sermonizer among people he felt at home with—probably a bit of a bore at times, but no simpleton. 7 Facts About Johnny Appleseed. He was a legend by now—a bluebird, to the bluejay figure of the raftsman Mike Fink, who had poled the Ohio River nearby at about the same time. I'm Faith Lapidus. In a short time, the seeds grew to become trees that produced fruit. Chapman was seventy years old. Johnny Appleseed is a bio-fiction animated feature from Walt Disney, using the nickname of Johnny Appleseed, a real-life American frontiersman born as John Chapman. You can win New England in a game of Heads Up! Resurrection was the simple continuation of the spiritual being without its corporeal or “natural” adjuncts, and the indifference to physical discomfort which he cultivated can no doubt be partly ascribed to his impatience to see that process speeded says Robert Price, his principal biographer. His birthplace now has a street called Johnny Appleseed Lane. Yet he was a successful businessman. His trees often grew in land near settlements. Born John Chapman (1774-1845) in Leominster, Massachusetts, he proved to be a man with a mission along the frontier, which in those days included western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. Which makes sense: Grapes do not grow well in much of the region, but apples? Odd as he was—with the gossip that trailed him hinting that earlier in life he may have been kicked in the head by a horse—he seems almost to have passed for a solid citizen here. Instead, he bartered for potatoes, corn meal, salt and flour, and peddled cranberries—a fruit that the pioneers combined into stews or dried with suet for a midwinter treat. More important, he respected and sympathized with them at a time when many white woodsmen shot them on sight like vermin, to clear the woods, or else humiliated them by catching their horses and tying sticks in their mouths and clapboards to their tails and letting the horses run home with the clapboards on fire. Such fortitude won the Indians’ respect, and he planted some trees in the Indian villages as well as in white towns. He slept in the open air and did not wear shoes on his feet. He was real flesh and blood, not a folk construction like Paul Bunyan—and he plied the trade of an appleman for almost fifty years with inspired generosity, not ascending solely to a single day’s public drama, like the steel-driving hero of Big Bend Tunnel in West Virginia, John Henry. In any case, the experience may have estranged the two. He speculated in a couple of town lots in Mount Vernon, one of which he sold after nineteen years for a profit of five dollars. Ebenezer Zane was blazing Zane’s Trace from Wheeling, on the Ohio River, through Zanesville and Chillicothe, capital of the Northwest Territory, toward Maysville, Kentucky. But he ascribes adventures aplenty to them in the area of the upper Allegheny near Warren, in northwestern Pennsylvania, where he has found evidence they had moved by 1797. When word of Chapman's death reached Washington, DC, Senator Sam Houston of Texas made a speech honoring him. A. Botkin’s. I hope she succeeded." Report. That summer and fall, with his woodcraft and marathon-endurance, John Chapman fulfilled a hero’s role, once racing thirty miles from Mansfield to Mount Vernon, Ohio, to summon reinforcements and arouse the white settlers to the peril posed by General William Hull’s surrender to British forces at Detroit. Browse more videos. In seventeen eighty, Nathaniel Chapman married Lucy Cooley of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Haley wrote a colorful chronicle of Chapman’s life for “Harper’s Weekly,” propelling the legend of Johnny Appleseed into American popular culture. A Treasury of American Folklore , Johnny Appleseed, along with Abe Lincoln and George Washington, occupies a tiny section entitled “Patron Saints.” (John Henry and Paul Bunyan are “Miracle Men.”) But, legendary walker that he was, he is fabled as much for abusing his feet as for sporting tin pots on his head or cardboard headgear. There are a number of other stories about Johnny Appleseed. His diet was as simple as his clothing. There are indications that at least once he tried, but that in adolescence the girl, like other girls, began to flirt with other men. That was fifty years after they had sauntered out from Longmeadow together, and John, famous and cranky and old, with a “thick bark of queerness on him,” as Robert Price expresses it, and only three years short of his death, trudged east from Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was living with Persis and her family, to Marietta, for a final reunion. Like the plainsmen and mountainmen, he was a man still “with the bark on,” but apples were his particular witness to God, and apples do not grow well on the Great Plains. Nowadays we like heroes in boots, however. Apples were an important food for the early settlers of North America. As wild things can, Us keep this American treasure alive and the legend of America ’ s death some adults they! Developed pneumonia during a severe snowstorm Illinois or Iowa he may have planted seeds. Passed, Johnny Appleseed was born on September 26 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts, the may! 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