by Ray Silverman
illustrated by Nancy Poes
Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2012
eISBN: 978-0-87785-627-6 | Paper: 978-0-87785-345-9
Library of Congress Classification SB63.C46S55 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 634.11092


Recent biographies of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, have portrayed him as anything from a schizophrenic wandering ascetic to a hedonistic pleasure-seeker. But who was the real man behind the misconceptions?

In this spiritual biography, Ray Silverman explores the stories and the popular misconceptions about Johnny Appleseed as well as the truths behind the legends. As a businessman, Chapman owned nineteen nurseries and twenty other land holdings throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, brokering deals that belie the popular image of him as a wandering nomad with a tin pot on his head. But it is only once we talk about Chapman’s spiritual convictions that we come to the core of who he was: a thoughtful and also joyful Christian who was deeply moved by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

The picture that emerges is of a lighthearted person whose convictions led him to seek harmony not only in nature but in the spiritual realms also—and to share his bounty with as many people as he could.