There once lived a man named John Chapman. John was born on September 26, 1774. As an American pioneer John was a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to the United States. Without John the apples we enjoy today we may never have known. As John traveled through the states of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois John would earn his way into the history books and his name as Johnny Appleseed would become legendary. Johnny was a kind man who always gave a helping hand and he lived his life this way. He would take the lead in conservation in America. Johnny taught all those that listened more than lessons on conservation he also shared stories about Jesus and his love for all. John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed was a source of inspiration for all those living out on the hard prairie. He not only taught families how to grow and care for apple trees but also brought apples to them. John led an innocent simple life and wanted nothing in return for his hard work. If he was paid he would donate it to a worthy cause. Johnny Appleseed would leave this world a legend as his death would come about due to winter plague.
Now that you are aware of the story let me fill in a few points of history:
John Chapman was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the midst of the American Revolutionary War. His father was a minuteman at the battle of Bunker Hill. His father also helped to construct the defenses of New York against British invasion with George Washington. His father would survive the war but Johns mother would not. She would die in childbirth July 1776. His father expected John to become a farmer and quickly started teaching him the trade of farming.
Building on the knowledge John learned from his father he would become a nurseryman. The early 1800s John would work the orchards alone. While the legend shares the life of Johnny Appleseed as a nomad he was actually very smart. The planting of 50 apple trees was enough to claim land so during his travels he would plant trees and start orchards. When the land was plentiful he would sell the land to settlers At his death Chapman owned more than 1200 acres of land.
When we think of apples we think of the fruit that can be eaten raw, one that makes delicious desserts or side dishes. John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed grew apples but they were not for eating but more for making hard cider and applejack. The nickname of the apples that John grew was "spitters" as the apples were small and tart and may make you spit. These apples were more valuable than edible apples. Apples in early America were most likely grown for cider. Cider often took the place of wine, beer, coffee, tea, juice and even water. Water could house dangerous bacteria but cider was both safe and delicious.
The legend of Johnny Appleseed also known as John Chapman was often noted for his appearance. With ragged clothes and bare feet. It may have been true as the church of Swedenborg or the New Church may have led to how he looked. John Chapman not only planted apple trees but was an animal rights activist and vegetarian as well. The church was most likely the reason that he did not have children.
John Chapman's nickname of Johnny Appleseed seems to have appeared after his death in 1845. His appearance, view of the world, and contributions for settling the frontier all helped to create the legend of Johnny Appleseed.