Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RAINS, John, pioneer, born near New river, Virginia, about 1750; died in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1821. In June, 1769, he was one of a party of hunters that penetrated as far west as Cumberland river, and returned with such glowing accounts of the country as greatly aided James Robertson in forming a colony for its settlement. The colony, numbering about 300, among whom were Rains and his family, arrived at the present site of Nashville in December, 1779. Rains had singular skill in woodcraft, and such prowess as an Indian fighter as to be generally given command in the many expeditions it was necessary to lead against the Cherokees, who continually harassed the settlement. He had an intense love of the woods, and no great regard for the refinements of civilized society. His definition of political freedom was a state wherein every man did as he pleased, without encroaching upon the rights of his neighbor. Physicians and attorneys he considered the bane of civilized society. He once said : "All was health and harmony among us till the doctors came bringing diseases and the lawyers sowing dissensions; and we have had nothing but death and the devil ever since."
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