The Humble Apple

Receipt for apples for wounded soldiers, 1863
Receipt for apples for wounded soldiers, 1863

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then an entire peck (a quarter of a bushel) would deliver significant nutrition to four recuperating soldiers.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Melvin L. Jellison of Company B of the 6th Maine Regiment signed a receipt for one peck of dried apples for himself and three other men at Emory Hospital in Washington, D.C. The apples were supplied by the Maine Agency of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

The man widely credited for spreading the apple gene across America is the subject of Thursday evening’s talk by America’s Apple author Russell Powell. “Images of Johnny Appleseed: Saint or Buffoon” (MHS lecture hall, 7PM) will examine the peripatetic life and legacy of folk hero John Chapman (1774-1845), and show how many of the depictions of Chapman through the years reflect the values of the people portraying him rather than the man. Visit our programs and events page for more details.

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