Ohio History Journal

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Johnny Appleseed Source Book. By Robert C. Harris. (Old Fort

News, Vol. IX, Nos. 1-2, The Allen County-Fort Wayne

Historical Society, Fort Wayne, Ind., March-June, 1945.


Secretary of the Johnny Appleseed Memorial Commission

of Fort Wayne, vice-president of the Allen County Historical

Society, principal of the James H. Smart School, author, inventor,

and civic leader, Robert C. Harris of Fort Wayne has for nearly

fifteen years been doing a major service to Middle Western folk-

lore by gathering and publishing the facts which put historical

reality under the popular myth of Johnny Appleseed. The fifteen

exhibits in the present pamphlet make available much that has

been accessible earlier only in the primary sources.

After a brief preface by Dr. Louis A. Warren, director of the

Lincoln Memorial Library in Fort Wayne, and an introductory

note by Mr. Harris, the following are printed: a biographical

sketch of John Chapman by John W. Dawson from the Fort

Wayne Sentinel of October 21 and 23, 1871; Simonds and Chap-

man family data from Leominster, Massachusetts; records of land

owned, claimed, or leased by John Chapman; contemporary refer-

ences to him in Swedenborgian publications; extant copies of his

personal orders for apple trees; record of his purchasing a pocket

knife in Fort Wayne on Washington's Birthday, 1840; notice of

his death from the Fort Wayne Sentinel of March 22, 1845; twen-

ty-six of the forty-two estate papers to be found in the Allen

County Courthouse, and a summary of recent memorial plans and

organizations in Fort Wayne. Mr. Harris is personally respon-

sible for bringing a large portion of these papers to light in recent


Except for the Chapman-Simonds family data, which should

be checked with Leominster, Massachusetts, Vital Records, the