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As noted in Naneitta Raines' Notes, above, Their father, James Madison Raines, took Nanietta and Mary Sue to a Raines reunion in Gadsden, Tennessee when Nanietta was about 11 years old. This would make the year of the reunion about 1806. Eliza Tidwell Raines was alive. She died in 1808.
Nannietta Raines, daughter of James Madison Raines, wrote down the speaker's words in longhand.|
Raines Reunion Speech by Col. J. W. Rosaman
Address of Col. J. W. Rosaman of Gadsden, Tennessee delivered August 11th 1909 (the year "1909" appears to have been added later. It is written with a different pen.)to the Raines family. After partaking of a bountiful dinner by the descendants and friends about 200 in number Mr. J. N. Jackson introduced Col. J. W. Rosaman a neighbor and life long friend of the family who spoke as follows:
Ladies and Gentlemen, neighbors and friends; I hail you happy on this auspicious occasion assuring you that it affords me pleasure to meet with you and address you briefly on this occasion. It is not my purpose to flatter you, but to deal in plain historic facts. I am not a candidate for any office and not courting public favor. In looking into your faces, mixing and mingling with you socially today, my mind runs back to scenes and circumstances of two-thirds of a century.
My Father has told me that when he settled in this neighborhood in 1829 that some of his few neighbors were the ancestors of you who make up and constitute this large and respectable audience. Well do I remember that over 60 years ago, when I was a boy, that Hugh and Asa Raines lived nearby, one North and the other South of my Father and I know that truer, and more honest and upright men never lived. Some of their brothers were not known to me, but their descendants for 5 or 6 generations are personally known to me, hence I can speak of them advisedly and I want to congratulate you today upon being worthy sons and daughters of such noble Sires. I hope you will adopt the sentiment expressed by Robert Burns the great Scotch poet who said, 'Oh that some power the gifs would gee us, to see ourselves as others see us.'
The three great principles that go to make up true manhood and womanhood are truth, honesty and virtue. The Raines have always been scrupulously honest, their word being equal to their bond, their motto a 100 cents in the dollar for all debts contracted, sixteen ounces to the pound, and 36 inches to the yard in all of their transactions, and no member of the Raines family has ever been incarcerated in jail and while but few of the family have amassed great wealth; they are all what we call good livers. None of the Raines have ever been paupers or beggars but they are a free-hearted, open handed and patriotic and philanthropic people, always and under all circumstances true to principle and loyal to their country's call.
Raines Reunion Speech by Col. J. W. Rosaman
One noticeable feature and I think a commendable one that the Raines all vote the Democratic ticket. While I do not desire or intend to inject into this pleasant occasion any personal or partisan politics, I must say that it is a praise worthy fact that you Raines have always been true to the best interest of your country, and when the Civil War of 1861-65 came up, every Raines was in line with his home people and I see before me today Alsey Raines and Columbus Raines, two valiant soldiers of the Lost Cause, who followed the wizard of the saddle, Gen. N. B. Forrest through all of the hard fought battles of the Lost Cause.
No female member of the Raines family ever had the slightest tint or stain upon her character. Therefore I feel encouraged to congratulate you who have such noble blood coursing through your veins, hoping that, reflecting upon these facts, you will be encouraged to so live that you will maintain unsullied and unstained the name of your ancestors.
To you gentlemen of this family from Texas, Arkansas, and elsewhere who have emigrated to other states, I cherish the hope that you have maintained the good name so well deserved by your relatives here and I am sure that you are not ashamed of you relatives and friends here assembled.
Uncle Jack Raines of Texas, here before me, left this county 57 years ago, he and I have not met since we were boys, but he looks somewhat like his brother, W. H. Raines, deceased, who was my near neighbor and bosom friend, whose memory we all revere. Another member of the same family of Raines, a half-brother of the two above named, Col. J. M. Raines of Fordyce Ark., is with us today and one strange feature of this reunion is that these two men, although being half-brothers, have never met until this morning. I congratulate you members of the Raines family upon the conception and carrying out this idea of a family reunion and I cherish the hope it will not be the last one. However, we are forcefully reminded that upon all things earthly, decrepitude, death and decay are indelibly written.
When I turn my head to the left and look at that burnt tree and heap of ashes and ruins where the house of Uncle Alsie and Aunt Martha recently burned up, together with all their earthly possessions, we are forcefully reminded that the Raines like all others are subject to and victims of saddness, sorrow, sickness and disappointment in this life and when we look just over on yonder hill scarcely a quarter of a mile away we see what is known all over this country as the Raines graveyard in whose sacred precints rests the mortal remains of many who are near and dear to us by the ties of affinity and consanguinity and while we behold these precious little mounds, very sacred in our memories and cherish the memory and the good deeds of those who occupy the silent city of the dead we are reminded that we too shall ere long go hence, therefore I urge you and each of you to so live that when that hour shall arrive and our bodies are laid away in the tomb along beside those whom we love and cherish that our spirits will bask in the sunlight of Eternal bliss and glory.
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