Johnny Appleseed Becomes Ill

About 1815 the orchardist was lost in the forest and suffered probably from an attack of typhoid or malarial fever. Months later when he reappeared on the edge of the settlement he wore one of his apple sacks for garments and had an old rusty tin pan on his head; he was dazed and out of his mind. At this time the man who at the beginning of his life was evidently a scholar entered upon a new phase of his career, for several years he was cared for by settlers who understood their debt to the man whose heroism in carrying on his self imposed task was quite beyond their comprehension. Later on he recovered his health and again took up his work, but many writers remembering only that tragic epoch in his career have robbed him of his name and fame by speaking of him as a strange and crazy old man, an error into which one of our later novelists has fallen.

The Quest of John Chapman The Story of a Forgotten Hero By Newell Dwight Hillis Published 1904