In 1797 John Chapman began his travels. He started propagating apple trees in northwestern Pennsylvania and onward through what was the frontier at that time: West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana. He traveled as far west as Illinois and Iowa and as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin. He became known as Johnny Appleseed.
His striking appearance attracted attention, but his kindness seems to have attracted more attention. John is honored by several memorials along the routes he traveled.
One such memorial in Dexter City, Ohio states: “Without a hope of recompense, without a thought of pride. John Chapman planted apple trees and preached, and lived and died.” Of special note: the memorial is made from rocks donated by people from all along Johnny’s route.
Although his gravesite’s location is disputed, it is reported he died in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Chapman’s grave marker there states: “Johnny Appleseed” John Chapman, He Lived for Others.
Different modern perspectives paint the man as having less altruistic motives. I’ve researched a few of their theories in honor of the day. To formulate their theories, they seem to ignore the testimony of Mr. Chapman’s peers.
Considering the memorials were placed by those who actually knew him personally, perhaps we should give their testimony about him more credit than modern theories. Just a thought.
Perhaps you’d like to visit some of the memorials or study modern theories. Then again, perhaps you’d rather just have a slice of apple pie.
We plan to honor the day by picking our favorite apples–Jonathans.
Tell me your plans in the comments below.
Until next time . . . Travel Light,
© 2019 SuZan Klassen