Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition kindergarten students recently spent time in class learning about John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. Ariana Costanzo and her students took time to look into the past in order to learn about people from long ago, and then dressed up like Johnny Appleseed. Ms. Costanzo and her students created a timeline of the important events in Johnny Appleseed’s life. After they finished their timeline, students enjoyed all kinds of treats made from apples.
The story of Johnny Appleseed has been passed down to young children for many generations. Children love to hear about the man that walked around many places in the country planting apple seeds everywhere he went, up hills, down into valleys and along river banks. Johnny Appleseed is an American hero. In a simple way, he proved what could be done by one.
About Johnny Appleseed:
John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian).
John Chapman traveled widely, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, pursuing his profession. While the legend of Johnny Appleseed suggests that his planting was random, there was actually a firm economic basis for Chapman's behavior. He established nurseries and returned, after several years, to sell off the orchard and the surrounding land.
The trees that Chapman planted had multiple purposes, although they did not yield edible fruit. The small, tart apples his orchards produced were useful primarily to make hard cider and applejack. Orchards also served the critical legal purpose of establishing land claims along the frontier. As a consequence, Chapman owned around 1,200 acres of valuable land at the time of his death.
Among Chapman's eccentricities was a threadbare wardrobe, which often did not include shoes and often did include a tin hat. He was a staunch believer in animal rights and denounced cruelty towards all living things, including insects. He was a practicing vegetarian in his later years. Chapman did not believe in marriage and expected to be rewarded in heaven for his abstinence.
After his death, Chapman's image developed into the pioneer folk hero Johnny Appleseed. Johnny Appleseed festivals and statues dot the Northeastern and Midwestern United States to this day, and Appleseed is the official folk hero of Massachusetts.
REF: Lucie Links Newsletter (SLCSD) Oct. 2013