Jonathan Chapman, orchardist, was possibly the only man living in Pittsburgh who should be counting his grains at the end of the day, although no other had such attractive wares to offer as he. But he could not honestly sell young apple trees that would die on the long, slow journeys into the wilderness of the Northwest Territory, so he was obliged to discourage men from buying.
Nevertheless he would have as busy as a day as any, just in being a brother to wayfaring man and beast. His nursery and orchard lay on the main traveled road, on the blow of Grant’s Hill, the very first bit of rising ground eastward of town. From that green and flowery slope the ancient woods had long since retreated, so from rude doorways below, from forest clamps above, and from boats on the flanking, bluff boarded streams Johnnys blossoming trees were visible that morning as a drift of dawn. To the nearer view of passes-by the nurseries made and his orchard offered a moment of rest and refreshment from the feverish activities of the day. Every traveler stopped at his gate, for in a never failing spring that bubbled up, cold and clear in cobble-lined basin by the roadside, Johnny had next water in and out of Pittsburgh. Johnny had lost no time in getting to work.
From soil as soft as loose as an ash-heap he pulled forest seedlings and weed-stalks by hand. Tough bushed, briars, and saplings he cut down with his hatchet, grubbed out the roots; and with his hoe he destroyed the inumberable cones of annuals that, pushing through the blanket of drifted leaves, ran up every rise in flickers of pale-green fire. The ground cleared over a fraction of an acre on the well-drained slope that faced westward toward the river, he raked it free of clods, opened orderly rows of trenches, and put in and covered up his seeds. Until his trees were in bearing he must pay his way by other services in that land of bitter toil and privation, so, in return for food and shelter, he lent a hand at whatever work was afoot. Besides, he must learn how to do everything that new-comers and Indians needed to know in order to conquer their hard circumstances.
He helped raise the cabins of green buckeye logs; he took his turn at plow or scythe or ax; and beat out grain with flails on barn floors or buffalo hide. He brought in news of every deer-lick he discovered, where men might drive cattle that were perishing for salt. In the useless angles of rail fences he started patches of briars, for with foraging bears about women and children could not go berrying along the trails. He showed the men how to build ash-hoppers, so the women could make lye hominy and soft soap; and one of his self imposed tasks was the raising of hog-pen walls so high that wolves could not get in. In no one year of his mission did Johnny set his feet on the road to the West with such a feeling of well-being and happiness as in the spring of 1811.
In the winter Indians still hunting in the eastern hills, but with diminishing returns for their labors, and Johnny journeyed westward with then in spring. This year a German farmer rode with him to the first camp on the Great Trail. There he meant to ask the loan of a horse for the season, and to go on alone. As room was made for him in the circle about fire, a brave said that they had been expecting him. He pointed to the pearly crescent sky that hung low in the west and said, Its Johnny Appleseed moon. This is what started the trend of using the name Johnny Appleseed.
He was seventy-two years old when in the spring of 1847, he died. He was taking a path of blossoms of the valley of Maumee. His comfort, his spiritual necessity, was in his continuing task. For him his work on earth was done there would be orchards for his and nurturing in the Garden of God. Johnny Appleseeds life was filled with a bunch of joyous long destinations. He conquered and made everyone.
He planted his apple trees in the soil, and all his trees and apples were known all around. Everyone loved Johnny, too. Children looked up to him, and adults marveled him. He taught the children games when they were little, and when they got older he taught them how to plant trees, flowers, and anything else people plant.
He was truly a human-being to look up. He loved earth and earth loved him. This book was very informative and gave a good picture of Johnnys life. It should vivid detail, and characteristics that expressed, and gave a clear image of what was going on. Every chapter had a little more to offer than the first, and it gave an awesome overview of everything that had happened.
It talked about little things, also. About how Johnny fell in love with a girl named Betty, and she got married when they were around seventeen, and he was heartbroken. Every trip was meant for her, and every tree was meant for her. Whenever he went on a destination he always stopped of see her and her babies. Johnny Appleseeds life was complete. He had romance, he helped the world, and he made people happy.
He is truly a ro-model. This book was an awesome way to interact with the life of Johnny Appleseed. It gave a clear and vivid picture of what went on back in that day. If Johnny Appleseed was a real man, he wouldve been a great one. Eleanor Atkinson, was a very wise lady for making this story so believbale, and true to life.
She made it very good and easy to read. I enjoyed reading it and I would love to read her novel again.