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The best understanding of America begins or so it seems to us. With the realization that this nation is young yet. That she is still new and unfinished. But even now America is man's greatest adventure in time and space. The University of North Carolina presents American Adventure. A study of man in the New World. His values and his character is. Who hears what he believes what he lives by. American Adventure is produced on a grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the educational television and radio center. Written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton. Today's program presents Bill Johnston as John Chapman Johnny Appleseed. I'm sorry but we don't give food to beggars. I'm not a beggar ma'am you're not. Well what do you want. I came to ask if you wanted me to plant some
apple trees around your place. How much. Well I would prefer for you to decide that many people can afford to buy apple trees here on the front tier. Others pay me a dollar or so. Oh I understand. Whatever you think you can pay wouldn't you like to have some apple trees scattered around. Why yes of course. But money is scarce. Well put you in a couple of each kind heaven just go on the way. My mother says you ought to get yourself some better clothes mister. And what do you say young man. Well I don't know. Your shirt is torn. Yes I ripped it on a briar just yesterday. What do you do in the woods. I sleep in the woods. Yes dangerous with the snakes and animals.
I've been asleep in the woods many years son. And I found little danger. Did you ever say yes night. Yes. Did he bite you. Yes one did. I harmed him and he harmed me. Not a rattlesnake was she but just one. Still you are way better cause here young men. Hand me that small tree. Yes thank you. OK after with no thank you. Don't you think you ought to wear better clothes. Well let me think about that now. What other purposes of clothing do you know to keep you warm. That's one. What's another. Where the card should be knighted. Yeah and what's another reason. Well I don't know to protect the skin I should think from briers and all. Yes that's wrong I live a particular kind of life young man and it may be that I make a peculiar sight as I walk down the
road. You see this cook pot. Yes it's my head. Oh I could afford to buy a head but then I'd have to carry a cook so I carry the cooked pot on my head. Yes and some people who think that's be cute but it makes a very fine head when I padded with my extra Should you see like this. Oh yeah. Now that I put on my head and I'm packed for travel and ready for Cook and yes my clothes a maid to keep me warm. To protect my body and to make my life more enjoyable I'm as well dressed as a man can be. But my way of life I'd say. But but Mama says you look like a baker. Yeah I see. My mama says you should wear better cars where you listen to me. Your mama is right and you agree with it. That's the right way for you young man.
And Johnny would plant apple seeds in our church. Then when the trees were started he would transplant them to the home sites of the pioneers. He would go far out beyond the frontier to plant his orchards. By the time the pioneers had reached that part of the wilderness is trees of rock. Johnny why don't you buy a farm and settle down. I've thought of doing that Mr Howard. I've seen you so many times of late trudging up and down the roads planting trees here and there were now settle down live a decent life. I guess I like to walk that's all. Oh it ain't all Johnny what you see when you're too old to carry on. You have no farm no family you have nothing at all. Yeah I guess that may be you'll have nothing because everything will have been given away. I know I know. Now a man has more when he owns a farm and you could take your pick of anywhere than any of the newly opened sections. Because you've already explored them why you could have a creek bottom
farm. You could get a layout of the bottom of the river you could have 300 acres by now and be secure. Good but what a price. Well price a dollar an acre or less that's all. Oh no the price is higher than that. You're not thinking clearly John. Oh yes I am I know full well there that everything a man owns takes something out of him. I know that a man can get bound up to a piece of land a man can get to thinking about that piece of land about getting another piece of land about getting better stock and getting more workers and pretty soon he doesn't own himself doesn't own the land the land owned him. No one in the land nonsense Johnny I have 600 acres and I own it not the other way around. Come with me down to Thompson Creek and that's issue wise. Now yass. Water is cool. Trees are tall. She'd deep. Come on you know I have to feed the wire for
food. Eat fish eat eat plants. They're free innovative. God places them in the woods and nurtures them. That's what I do but I'm not like you was I've been trying to point out. Let's go up into the north country nor a place where there's a high view and from there a man can see a dozen miles of countryside and get your hands on it Johnny that land may open up any time now. I see. But if you're sure you don't want it for yourself. No I don't want it. Then by all means let's go. Look I have a son who is not 18 he needs a piece of land I can stick it to him and when the land opens up. Come on Johnny let's go. I'll not take you up there not one because you're ill. Please don't be angry with me for saying that but I'd talk to you about the beauties of nature and you have to slop the hogs. Yet I tell you about a piece of land and you say let's go so I can see that you have sold your life for land the land owns you. I'll plant
some apple trees around your place. But for that piece of high land I want a young man who can enjoy the beauty of what is there. No you're my friend. Your own by land. Down through Ohio and Pennsylvania about this proud but man with a coke pot on his head and the apple trees in his hand down the settlement roads the pioneer trails. How do you do ma'am. I don't give to beggars beyond point you walk this proud this man. Yes. Where are you. I'm over here listening to this new new wood to be's you know the best I can tell. They don't make quite the same song sound.
Oh. The two Ps I was watching. They had different buzzes one live of God with me to every be different. Why would he do that. Maybe he wanted to tell them apart. Why keep the name St. Bees don't have names Johnny. Maybe no maybe so nice they had different buzzes too I listen to did. Just to be different. Well John I heard that you were leaving us. Yeah I'm movin on. Too bad we don't see eye to eye on many things but all the folks around want you to stay. You know I'm moving on. You know look if you're running from something. Johnny I'm not not really. I know there's a reason we'll help you. That is we like you and we're going to build a community here and you can be a part of it. No let me tell you we've got the cabins build now and some of the land is cleared. We're going to build a church too. Oh yes you must do
that. Maybe bring in a teacher or get a preacher who can teach. We got a whole community here except it's not going to be like we want it. Why not. Well it would be except you're leaving. I figured you could help us. I'm not a builder. I never built much of a house you know nor a church so I know that I never planted much except apple trees. Well you don't have to farm Johnny. I preached a little here and there I heard you did talk to people. But then men who can wind up a sermon better than me will get a preacher. Never was any good work in a store. Tried it once. Couldn't keep track of the money somebody would come in there and buy something and I get to talking to a woman and they'd leave an hour later. Neither one of us ever got around to the money changing hands and that was a problem. That would be a problem in a store because the storekeeper was making as much as anybody but it
unnerved him nonetheless. He got right irritated with me. I could see it would be better if I left. You don't have to work a store Johnny Somebody once told me I'd make a good trapper. I would bet you wouldn't that you know I wouldn't. I've seen too many traps. You know it's a crime to let an animal out of a trap. Or at least it's figured that way where they don't to be fair way to make a living and not an easy one trapping animals. Yes I never saw an animal in a trap in my life that I didn't let go. Oh you mean. Well I don't know what to say about that. Well you see I understand them too well. Even when this fierce I can go close by and talk to them and reason with them. You know the Bible says Come let us reason together saith the Lord. And that's what I tried I tried to get across to them reason together. Did you ever try to reason with an animal when you had a leg in a trap. LOL no it takes a while.
You get to understand God's problem with us you know. Min have all got their leg in one kind of trap or another. Something pained him. It takes a long time to reason with an animal in a trap where you don't have to be a trapper Johnny. Mr. Jordan you say you want me to remain here in your community. Yeah everybody does. Doing what where. Well. Johnny I hadn't given it any thought. Seems like you don't fit in a regular job. But would you stay. Yeah I'd like to. You would I think so. But you see that I can't don't you Johnny. Why is it that it's calling you. What the land ahead. No oh there's a great joy to put your foot down where you figure nobody else ever was before.
I've seen a sight that only Indians have seen and they probably didn't notice. There's a deal of pleasure in being out there when nobody is except you in the plants and the animals and God. But it ain't the call that makes me go on Johnny do you know what it is I don't like to think about it. You can't avoid it Johnny not any longer. She's here. Who. Andy Turner. That's why I wanted you to stay. Oh she's found you now. She's in my place. And he turned away. I remember I remember I reckon you're sure to hear her talk it was love for her that made you run away and not at my house. So now don't you see you have to stay Johnny and get a job and settle down. You can now because she's come to you. Would you like to talk to. Yeah I would come along. Yes I will. I see now why you wanted me to stay. It was to please her.
It wasn't for this one reason. The other reason is you Johnny. I like to talk to you even if we don't always agree. I see. Well let's go down to your house. I haven't seen any Turner in many years and it's wrong to keep it waiting any longer. The part's cool and nice to any private. I got so nervous all afternoon with everybody hang in Iran lookin at us as if we were strangers. Well they didn't you notice. People have been looking strange at me for so many years I. I think it's normal where you can blame them Johnny. Look at yourself. You're all tattered and tall and I bet you got money too.
Why do you need to know. You know I don't. Did my family ever need money. Well I have enough if you ever do is money and not a tree. Then why don't you dress better and and be a respectable respectable like everyone else. Well that wouldn't be too hard to do wouldn't I don't think so. You just rest well like you can afford and put on good shoes and keep playing. Sounds easy to be respectable and and you could go places Johnny. You have a wonderful mind for remembering things but what have you remembered. What do you need to remember out here. Just where I plant my orchard and that isn't hard is it. No I I have a sense of direction. I usually had the orchards because one never knows what somebody might do. I heard tell this mornin that a man has been going around that now animal that attracts the same kind of man might steal your apple craze I guess. Well a little different kind
maybe. It takes all kinds to make a world. But here you are a man that was good at books that didn't move things once they could read and write and what good is it to you out here. Oh I read the Bible to myself and to others. Jani all you got is what you carry and I can see you haven't got a Bible. Well I had one. Oh I have had a hundred. But what I read to somebody that can't read when I go over something that he likes. I usually tear it up and give it to him. So my Bible gets smaller until I just got the chapters who begat who and nobody seems to want them. So I have to get a new Bible. You just caught me between Bibles anyway. Why give them the sections if they can't read. What good does it do them. I've asked myself the same question. It does seem a shame to rip the Bible apart.
Well why do you do it then. Because I did it once. I did it once and the person smiled. She held it like it was a treasure and so it always is like that as if it's wonderful to find yourself owning a part of a Bible even when the words are out of reach. You don't make much sense Johnny. It will make no sense taw said that people always treasure what they can never really have. I'm glad you brought that up and I am going to have to buy another Bible I reckon soon as I get my next orchard planted and people start moving on. Better buy it now then. Then you are movin on too. Yes I am I come all the way out here to find you. I got over my anger about the time you left me. I swallowed my pride and not followed you and now you're going to leave again. Do you think
it's right. No it isn't any. Well why do you do it. Dontcha know I've lain awake nights night after night. Don't know I've thought about you and wonder how can you just leave. Just go shake off everything that loves you and run away. Don't you and I know what it does to people I know. Lord I know why I Johnny why. Because I also know that it would do to people if I stayed because I'm a freak and I have to run away. Free noted since a boy. I know that I was different. How was he different. I never cared about the things other people cared for and I believe things other people didn't believe. What for instance. We have natural things. I believe God takes care of the flowers each one you know is the spouses names or they don't have names you know whatever it is. Any
protection gods. Well I believe that when I looked around I saw people building houses in it and as soon as they got one they started a bigger one and they laid by barns full of crops and they had cattle they could never eat if they start on a Monday night for three years. They couldn't eat that much meat and people save money when hungry to save money. People are 60 years old and without a child they'd buy and I see that nobody wanted to depend on God. Johnny when you plan to know a kid you have to clear ground don't you. Of course do you have to guard it don't you. And do not just from people but from Manimal and wades in and you have to be sure a flood won't take it away. I know you got to work with God but to God to work with your mind on your business because God ain't gonna change the world just for you. But he said he knew about me even about a Sparrow Johnny
he may and he may care and he may worry about a sparrow that don't fly south in the winter and he mad we got night but he can't do nothing. Canny Danny. Well I reckon he could but I reckon he wouldn't. What if the people that came out here to Pennsylvania never built a house. One of them Johnny just lived in the dirt. Durch cleaned Johnny Rocket me. What have you got against houses. What have you got against improvement things and livin respectable a man ain't no animal is a no Yankee to me no he so he does different. But don't you see the danger you got to be and sort of put in the what they done that they just forgot about God and they don't know what freedom is and which is more important than it would be in a man with respectability or be in a man with a god.
I reckon a real man can be both. I don't know. They say Jesus used to go away go out the desert go out in the garden just to get away honey. Jesus was a carpenter he built thing. I don't know that he did he must have. Well I don't know and I can't talk any more about it. It was logical to me and if it's just what's true in it's true to me that out there in the woods I'm at home and here I am. And with you. And I would drive you crazy because I would be a freak. All my life and yours and I can be laughed at I can go on down the road singing a song and plant an apple trees and reading the Bible to people that can't read. And doing good when I can Johnny. But I can't do the other yoga right. I'm not afraid not afraid in the woods Bayani. You shouldn't come.
This is all you do. Go around planting apple trees. Yes I've done that. There's nothing to it but tell me boy. Say a prayer with every tree a prayer. Look I'll show you how it is. Don't you want me to get a hoe. Not necessary. Better to use your hands. Look you kneel down like this. Dig into the soil with your fingers. Careful not to destroy in the living room. That may be there. And this you must. Are you serious MR. You dig deep you see deeper than you think you need to put in some leaves rotted down then pour in a little soil.
Then what you put you know off the tips of the apple tree roots for pinching off the dead part so the living will be easier. Now put the roots down gentle in the earth. Cover them up pushing down the sauce so as not to hurt the plant covered good. Yes and directly we will water it. But now let's plan another way. Well what about the briar. You said that was a prior. Oh yes there is and I gave it. I didn't hear you. You know it wasn't spoken. It was planting the tree that was the prayer a prayer can be a manner of doing things. And. As he grew older he went farther west with the coke pot on his head and the apple seeds in his hand. From Pittsburgh to limestone creek to the Great Falls of
Louisville overland to Illinois. He traveled the American frontier until he was old until settlers went on past it. Until he could not keep up anymore. Then he grew lonely. His mind kept going back. So he went back to Fort Ohio. He walked down the old pass. Saw his orchard stood beneath flowering trees he had planted. And a wonderful thing happened. Listen Mark it down. He was remembered. He was remembered and he was loved. Consider that. This man who had nothing. He was loved. Through his old age. They and their. That's what he asked to be put under the tree he planted. So let it be just said wait. Let us have no sermon. There is no man who can preach this
sermon of Johnny Chapman. He was this sermon and let us not forget it. Although I feel we will. It does not sell our lives for money or power or land. But strive for something greater and above them. I have land. And when I die there will be those to remember me. The night is a remember him. Head. Only what are you giving away. Dig a hole. Not with Schopenhauer's. You get with your hand. And take it to kill no room for any living thing that can be spared. Then put him in the clean air. And worry not at all. That no man weep.
For he was God's man. And God. Will take care of him. Put him there in the clean air. With his silent breath. Why. There. American Adventure is written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton and it's produced by the communication center of the University of North Carolina. Irwin directed. These programs are produced on a grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the Educational Television and Radio Center. An independent agency established by the Ford Foundation. They're intended for use by educational and commercial radio stations in this and other countries and by schools for in-school listening purposes. They are in almost all cases based
on actual events. Today's program Johnny Appleseed presented Phil Johnston as John chat. And what Alice WALLACE As Annie Donohue Leah Jordan and George Brown hold says Howard. Others in the cast were Edith Sanford. Gene Rayburn and Gene Oliver. American Adventure is produced and recorded in the studios of the University of North Carolina. At Chapel Hill. Is now with the following professors at the University of North Carolina are consultants for American Adventure. Bernard voyage of the Department of Religion John Gillen of the Department of Anthropology Flecha green of the Department of History Everett hall of the Department of Philosophy Frank camped at the School of Law. Clifford Lyons of the Department of English.
Howard Odom the Department of Sociology. William petite the Department of Philosophy and women's summer the Department of watch. This is the end I ybe network.
American adventure
Johnny Appleseed
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This radio play dramatizes the story of John Chapman, the American pioneer nurseryman better known as Johnny Appleseed.
Series Description
This series studies the values and characteristics of notable figures from America's early years. It is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
Nursery growers
Media type
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Actor: Johnston, Phil
Actor: Ehle, Gail
Actor: Wallace, Alice
Advisor: Boyd, Bernard
Advisor: Gillen, John
Advisor: Green, Fletcher Melvin, 1895-1978
Advisor: Hall, Everett W. (Everett Wesley)
Director: Clayton, John S.
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-19 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:54
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Chicago: “American adventure; Johnny Appleseed,” 1955-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 4, 2023,
MLA: “American adventure; Johnny Appleseed.” 1955-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 4, 2023. <>.
APA: American adventure; Johnny Appleseed. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from