The Strangely True Tale Of Johnny Appleseed | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

The Strangely True Tale Of Johnny Appleseed

Apples — right off the tree, baked in a pie, pressed into cider or mashed into sauce — are a basic element of American culture. October is the month to celebrate them, thanks, in part, to Johnny Appleseed.

You've probably heard of the legendary character who traveled the Midwest planting trees, but he's not a myth. Johnny Appleseed's real name was John Chapman, and he was born in Massachusetts in either 1774 or 1775.

He was first noticed by history in 1801 when he arrived on horseback at the farm of John Stedden in Licking Creek, Ohio. Stedden thought Chapman was rather eccentric, but he listened to the man's plans to head west and plant apple seeds along the way for future settlers.

Five years later, another Ohio settler encountered Johnny Appleseed. Chapman had lashed two canoes together, filled one with apple seeds and was paddling along the Ohio River. He was barefoot, dressed in rags, and wore a tin pot on his head as a hat. Chapman was doing what he had told Stedden he would, traversing the country, pushing farther west each year. Wherever he found a suitable spot, he planted apple seeds and educated farmers about nurseries and orchards.

Chapman was a vegetarian and, by all accounts, a caring and compassionate — if somewhat odd — man. For more than 40 years, he traipsed the fields and forests from Pennsylvania to Illinois, spreading the word about apples until his death in 1845. A memorial grave site in Fort Wayne, Ind., has a stone marker bearing the motto, "He lived for others."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

HBO got 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, the most of any network. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of FX's miniseries Fargo.
NPR

From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp

Many processed foods contain cellulose, which is plant fiber that is commonly extracted from wood. It's used to add texture, prevent caking and boost fiber. And it's been around for ages.
NPR

A Snapshot Of Indonesia: The Country Behind The Election

In the wake of the highly-contested presidential election in Indonesia, we look at the country's health and development profile.
NPR

Hackers In China Reportedly Targeted U.S. Federal Workers

According to a report in The New York Times, hackers accessed U.S. government databases in March and apparently targeted files on employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.