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Quotes of the Day for 26 September 2003 – Johnny Appleseed

John Chapman was born at Leominster, Massachusetts on this day in 1774. A younger brother was born and died in 1776, his mother died soon afterward. His father fought for independence as a member of the Minutemen, so Johnny was probably raised by his grandparents. John headed west in 1797, just ahead of a wave of westward expansion, planting apple orchards in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio - some of which are still bearing fruit. He didn't just throw the seed on the ground as sometimes depicted, he bought land and started nurseries. He did give away a lot of trees, but mostly sold them as many homestead grants required that fifty apple trees be planted in the first year. Chapman was also a minister with the Church of New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian), and was able to mediate disputes between farmers, and between settlers and the native Americans. He spent almost fifty years growing apple trees, it's said that the only time he ever was sick was when he died, but there are a lot of legendsof Johnny Appleseed.

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The quotes:

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.
     - D. Elton Trueblood

No thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
     - Epictetus

A garden is evidence of faith. It links us with all the misty figures of the past who also planted and were nourished by the fruits of their planting.
     - Gladys Taber

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.
     - Hal Borland, 1900 - 1978

The planting of trees is the least self-centered of all that we can do. It is a purer act of faith than the procreation of children.
     - Thornton Niven Wilder, 1897 - 1975

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
     - Willa Silbert Carter, 1873 - 1947


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