JOHNNY APPLESEED: Man & Myth by Robert Price


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A vigorous, well-written biography of the fabulous John Chapman, ""Johnny Appleseed"". An American folk hero -- he started as an orchardist, who at 23- in 1797-crossed the Allegheny plateau. Ill-equipped for the terrific storms of winter, with makeshift snowshoes and a snowhut, he survived, and managed to save his bushel or so of appleseeds. The next spring he started to plant his orchard. Early chronicles have pictured him as slightly mad and too pretty-pretty. He was neither, and always seemed to be surrounded by loneliness and mystery. Years later it was established that he was born in Massachusetts, that his father was a farmer and carpenter. He left home early; (a second marriage had resulted in an overcrowded household); and he headed for Pennsylvania just as the Holland Land Company bought up vast tracts. Chapman scouted the Allegheniss, planted his first nursery, moved on to Ohio, and beyond. His method of clearing land and planting appleseeds impressed other settlers who were destroying trees. No other fruit tree could meet so many needs, nor grow so easily. It was an age of barter; apples were media of exchange. Chapman bought various lands for his nurseries, and carried his seeds by bypaths to most of Ohio and Indiana. He was one of the first conservationists and happened in to the right region at the right moment. The biographer has sifted fact from legend, and told his story in straightforward fashion. How many people will be interested in the results of his results of research it is hard to say. The Middle West, where his name is still a household word, is surer candidate than the seaboards.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1954
ISBN: 0898027721
Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press