Categories: Leominster, Massachusetts | Profile of the Week Winners | American Childhood Legends, Indiana | American Childhood Legends, Ohio | American Childhood Legends, Massachusetts | Johhny Appleseed Park, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, was born September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Chapman and Elizabeth (Symonds) Chapman. Nathaniel Chapman was a Minuteman at The Battle of Concord, served with Israel Putnam at Bunker Hill and later served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.He was with George Washington at Valley Forge.
Johnny was eight when the Revolutionary War ended. Shortly after, England ceded all the territory south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi to the United States. At the time of the first US Census in 1790, Johnny was sixteen and living in a house full of younger brothers and sisters.  
In 1792, when John was eighteen years old, he headed west with his eleven-year-old half brother, Nathaniel. His father soon followed, settling his family in Ohio. Nathaniel stayed behind to farm with his father but John continued moving west to Pennsylvania. Johnny had learned to be an apple orchardist from a neighbor when he was growing up. As he traveled, he set about planting orchards throughout the countryside. He planted for profit, although he was known to accept old clothes for payment.
Legend portrays Johnny Appleseed as spreading apple seeds everywhere - along roadsides and in forests. Research suggests that he had something of a business plan and selected the best land for his orchards. He fenced them in with fallen logs and branches. Then he planted and cultivated an orchard as he had learned in Massachusetts. He continued to move west, planting his orchards ahead of the settlements. 
There are also legends about the apple seeds that Johnny planted. Some say he planted Dover apple seed brought from England by his ancestors. Others claim that he planted only seeds from Pennsylvania. The most logical suggestion is that he planted seeds he could gather along the way, including seeds at cider presses. There is no way to estimate how many seeds he planted or how many nurseries he created in the territory lying south of the Great Lakes and between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It was his life's work.
Johnny Appleseed also spread religion as he traveled. He was a missionary for the New Church, which is a Christian denomination based on the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.Johnny believed in the Golden Rule and avoided extravagance. He is unusual in that he was itenerant all his life. He did revisit settlements where he had made friends but always preferred to sleep outside. He had a special relationship with the animals and Native Indians. He even considered it cruel to cut or trim apple trees or harm insects. He did not believe in grafting and would only grow trees from seed.
John Chapman is considered an American Patriot because of his actions during the War of 1812. When the War of 1812 began, many Indians allied themselves with the British, seeking to revenge injustices done to their people by the settlers. They attacked up and down the Ohio territory, but they left Johnny Appleseed alone. Taking advantage of this, Johnny became like a Paul Revere to the Ohio Territory, warning settlers of danger.
On one occasion, Johnny learned that a band of Indians had laid siege on the town of Mansfield, Ohio. He ran twenty-six miles through the forest to Mt. Vernon to obtain help for the settlers. As he ran, he tried to warn other settlers along the path of the danger by blowing on an old powder horn. Aid reached the town within a day, and the settlers were spared, thanks to his bravery. 
Johnny had spent almost 50 years walking throughout the countryside, when in 1842 he moved into the home of Nathaniel. On March 18, 1845, he died of pneumonia at the age of seventy-one. He was visiting his friend, William Worth, in Indiana. He is buried in an unmarked grave near Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Johnny's life was so unusual that the primary myth surrounding it is that he never existed. Thanks to researcher Robert Price who set out to explore this myth in the 1950's, we have research on how Johnny lived and cultivated apple orchards.
Children learn about Johnny Appleseed at a young age when they learn to sing the Grace Song or see him in a cartoon gathering bright red apples. He seems to have more in common with Whinny the Pooh than George Washington but Johnny Appleseed is one of America's Patriots.
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On 16 Jun 2016 at 03:09 GMT Wanda (Greaves) Vergara-Yates wrote:
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Find out more at the Global Family Reunion project
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On 2 Jul 2014 at 19:08 GMT Terri (Reynolds) Rick wrote:
I really don't see how it can be improved from what you have accomplished - but I did add the protection for your profile.
I feel this profile should fall under the Notable Project. I know they are expanding the use of this one - till we are able to stand up a new one for these types.
Johnny is 15 degrees from Charles Darwin, 15 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor and 21 degrees from Gilly Wood on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.