Posted by: Ron DuBour | August 7, 2012

American Heroes from Massachusetts~JOHN CHAPMAN (1774-1845)~by rldubour


JOHN CHAPMAN (1774-1845)

John Chapman born in Leominster,
A small town in Massachusetts.
Was known as Johnny Appleseed
Same person, we won’t confuse it.

Was born September, twenty-six
In the year of seventy-four.
Grew up to be a nurseryman
Was all of that and much more!

In the Continental Army.
Nathaniel Chapman was his Dad
At Concord in seventy-five
While Johnny was just a lad.

Mom was Elizabeth Symond.
Their third child died after birth.
Elizabeth passed three weeks later
From tuberculosis left this earth.

In seventeen-hundred-and eighty
Nathaniel married his second wife.
Lucy Cooley of Longmeadow,
For his family a new life.

A new home and eight half siblings
For John and sister Elizabeth.
From Leominster to Longmeadow
This is who they chose to live with.

In ninety-two John went to Ohio
Realizing the farmers needs.
Taking his half-brother Nathaniel
To start a service supplying seeds.

Contrary to many beliefs
He did not just scatter his seeds.
Thousands of seeds he had planted
To fulfill each farmers needs.


Elder Chapman with his family
In eighteen-hundred-and five.
Relocating to Ohio,
All Johnny’s nurseries did survive.

When the Chapman’s were all settled
Young Nathan joined them it is known.
This left Johnny with his seeds,
Spent the rest of his life alone.

The year eighteen-hundred and six
A load of seeds to deliver.
Was nicknamed “Johnny Appleseed”
While canoeing down the river.

Records show eighty-eight counties
Where he planted nurseries.
His passion for all Gods creatures
A “Gentle Hero,” in history.




John Chapman (September 26, 1774-March 18, 1845)
His father, Nathaniel Chapman, was one of the Minutemen who fought at Concord on April 19, 1775, and later in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. John’s mother, Elizabeth Symond Chapman, had three children: Elizabeth, who was born in 1770, John, and Nathaniel Jr., who died shortly after birth in 1776. John’s mother, who was sick from tuberculosis, died just three weeks after her third child. Although there is no proof, it is reasonable to assume that Elizabeth’s parents took care of John and his sister while their father was in the Army. Nathaniel married his second wife, Lucy Cooley of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in 1780. With their family of ten children, Nathaniel and Lucy lived in Longmeadow for many years. Johnny and Elizabeth lived with them for at least part of that time. In 1792, an 18-year-old Chapman went west, taking 11-year-old half-brother Nathaniel, with him. Their destination was the headwaters of the Susquehanna. There are stories of him practicing his nurseryman craft in the Wilkes-Barre area, and of picking seeds from the pomace at Potomac cider mills in the late 1790s. There is little authentic information available about Johnny’s life with the new family. However, he did start his westward journey about 1792. “Johnny Appleseed” was not a scatter of seeds many people believe. He was a practical nurseryman.
By 1806, when he arrived in Jefferson County, Ohio, canoeing down the Ohio River with a load of seeds, he was known as Johnny Appleseed. He had used a pack horse to bring seeds to Licking Creek in 1800, so it seems likely that the nickname appeared at the same time as his religious conversion. Johnny Appleseed’s beliefs made him care deeply about animals. Henry Howe, who visited all 88 counties in Ohio in the early 1800s, collected these stories in the 1830s, when Johnny Appleseed was still alive. Despite his best efforts to give his wealth to the needy, Johnny Appleseed left an estate of over 1200 acres of valuable nurseries to his sister, worth millions even then, and far more now. At the time of his death, he owned four plots in Allen County, Indiana including a nursery in Milan Township, Allen County, Indiana with 15,000 trees.



  1. Johnny also has appeared a number of times on TV’s Daniel Boone.

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