Did you ever learn the ‘Johnny Appleseed Prayer” as a child?
It is a neat little jingle that comes to mind on this March 11th Johnny Appleseed Day.
Oh, the Lord’s been good to me,
And so I thank the Lord,
For giving me the things I need,
The sun, the rain, and the apple seed
The Lord’s been good to me.
We used to have an elderly lady living here at St. Anne’s who actually enjoyed eating the apple seeds. We would be busily peeling and slicing apples and she would get herself a collection of seeds to enjoy!
But what about the man we honor today?
Johnny Appleseed (whose real name is John Chapman) was born two years before our country declared its independence from Britain, on Sept. 26, 1774. He died of pneumonia in his early seventies, on March 18, 1845. He travelled around and planted apple trees in Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, and Indiana. He led the way in conservation and was known for his kindness and generosity. His career in apple business lasted about half a century. At the age of eighteen, he headed west with a younger brother and other pioneers. This began his travels, in which he preceded west-bound pioneer groups, planting apple trees before them.
Not only was Chapman a friend to the settlers, he was also on good terms with many native peoples. He reportedly had sufficient knowledge of many of their languages to converse.