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John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman

Folk Hero / Missionary

Born: 26 September 1774
Died: 18 March 1845
Birthplace: Leominster, Massachusetts
Best known as:

Apple-planting American pioneer

John Chapman was an itinerant agriculturalist and missionary who became known as "Johnny Appleseed," a folk hero of the 19th century American frontier. He showed up in the Ohio River Valley sometime around 1800 and spent the next half-century planting and tending apple orchards as far west as Indiana, usually ahead of the oncoming settlers. He is said to have also been a missionary, occasionally preaching the Christian teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Although it's clear John Chapman -- Johnny Appleseed -- really existed, speculation and rumor inform the tales of his kindness, his raggedy appearance or his motive for planting apple seeds in the first place.

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