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Biography JOHNNY APPLESEED

Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman

Cachet by Fleetwood
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Sept,24.1966

   Many people think that Johnny Appleseed was some sort of Folklore or fictional character , but he was a real person. His real name was John Chapman and was born Sept. 26, 1774 in Leominster Massachusetts and was raised on a small farm there.  Being an eldest son he would work the family farm with his father but  his favorite place was his father's apple orchard, where he would help his dad plant and care for the trees. He learned well and became a skilled nurseryman.
     He moved to western Pennsylvania, where he barely made a living selling sapplings and apppleseeds to westward moving settlers. Johnny was a small wiry man with long hair, a scragly beard and startling bright eyes. He considered himself a missionary of the small Swedenborgian sect. He often spoke of visitations from spirits and angels to the pasing settlers and Indians. Whenever settlers passed by, he heard of fertile soils,  throughout the western frontier. These stories inspired him to move West and about 1800 he loaded a canoe with bags of seed and moved down the Ohio River. He would stop along the way to preach and plant seeds creating Apple Orchards as he continued his rounds as a missionary.
     He settled for a while in Mansfield Ohio and where during the War of 1812  it is said he raced on foot 30 miles through the Ohio wilderness to summon American troops, that helped thwart off Indian raids on his neighbors in Mansfield. He continued his plantigs establishing farms from 1 acre to over 50 Acre orchards through out the Northwest Territory. These orchards were left to settlers to be tended and cared for while he moved on to a new location. He would trade his seeds and sapplings to settlers moving west in exchange for clothing and food other goods but very rarely money, all of which he would give away to those in need.   In 1847Johnny died at the age of 70 he is buried near  Fort Wayne, Indiana.
      So the story goes he wore a burlap sack for his shirt, tattered pants and a tin pot for a hat with no shoes.  And spent over 40 years planting Apple Orchards in the Wilderness...The US postal service honored him in  September 24, 1966 with this stamp....

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Cachet by Art Craft

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