Sunday, July 20, 2014

On the road again



The Johnny Appleseed exhibit is going on the road, like the man himself, to inform new generations of the man behind the legend.  John Chapman was a late 18th and early 19th century nurseryman who did introduce apple trees to the Midwest, but he also was part of the Awakening of the time, spreading the Swedenborgian Church through religious pamphlets.  So, those apples came at a price.

One of the earliest national accounts of Chapman was in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1871, which was essentially a biography of the man replete with engravings.    The image of him in a tin pot hat stuck.  Chapman was known for living a spartan life, but he often charged for his seeds so it wasn't like he took an oath of poverty.

Over the years, a virtual treasure trove of memorabilia has been collected, and his image has been illustrated countless times, including the most memorable one of him on The Saturday Evening Post.

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