The Real Johnny Appleseed: 90% Hoosier Hero and 10% Daffy Duck
Booze, not baking. Contrary to antiquated school teachings, John Chapman didn’t plant varieties of hefty, delicious apples, but rather tart ones used for making cider. In the days before modern germ theory, alcoholic beverages like hard cider were a safer drink than fresh water, since the alcohol killed harmful bacteria. Also people liked getting drunk.
Sack substantiated, but pot only possible. The depiction of Johnny Appleseed in ragged clothes with a sack on his back and a pot on his head was mostly true to life. He wore ragged clothes as a reflection of his religious beliefs, and he used his well-documented sack to carry seeds across country roads.
The pot might be myth. Although there are accounts of him placing a pot on his head, there’s little evidence that he wore it regularly as a fashion accessory. Some historians believe he may have worn a tin hat, which he sometimes used as a bowl.