Folk Narrative – American

Johnny Appleseed

“My grandpa used to tell me the story of Johnny Appleseed.  When he was a boy, Johnny had some kind of falling out with his parents and began to spend more time outdoors with nature.  Johnny started many nurseries throughout the Midwest by planting seeds he bought from cider mills in Pennsylvania. Johnny was very pious and became a missionary for the Church of the New Jerusalem.  Johnny traveled around the Midwestern U.S. and shared his religious beliefs and his Bible with any settlers who listened to him.”

My informant first heard the story of Johnny Appleseed from his grandfather when he was six.  On occasions when the family would get together, his grandfather would get all the children together after dinner and tell them legends and stories by the fire.  He shared the story of Johnny Appleseed many times as a way to stress the importance of religion in their lives.

My informant believes that most people have heard of Johnny Appleseed but may not know the religious side of his story.  Most people know that he traveled around Midwestern America planting apple trees, but they do not know that he also acted as a traveling missionary.

My informant believes that the story of Johnny Appleseed is true.  He says Johnny Appleseed has been linked to a John Chapman who was born in Massachusetts in the 1770s.