Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Honorable Richard Stanford, Congressman

The Honorable Richard Stanford, Congressman
By Terri Bradshaw O’Neill ©

Remarkably little has been written about Richard Stanford (1767-1816), who represented the citizens of Orange county, North Carolina, in the United States House of Representatives from 1797 until his death in 1816. His ten terms in office spanned the Presidencies of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. During the period he was a Congressman, momentous events were occurring on the world stage as well as in the United States, most notable being the War of 1812. There is, of course, a paragraph in the Biographical Directory of Members of Congress. A few newspaper articles detail his political career. A fairly long sketch of Richard Stanford appeared in the Greensboro Daily News of 13 July 1941, written by Archibald Henderson. Samuel L. Adams of South Boston, VA, was a member of the Virginia Senate and a great-grandson of Richard Stanford’s. Adams took an early interest in his ancestor and wrote a series of letters to editors of newspapers, and biographical sketches beginning in 1901 and culminating in a sketch written in 1915. Most of these articles feature highlights of Richard Stanford’s career and accomplishments in Congress. These articles furnish a reasonable idea of his character and his political philosophy, indicating a strong belief in fiscal responsibility by Congress and the relatively new government. Richard Stanford was certainly in some measure instrumental in the formative years of our country’s development, but the details of his life and career for too long have been neglected.

Probably the most reliable source concerning Stanford’s early life and forebears is Henry Howland Crapo’s Certain Comeoverers, a well-written and entertaining family history published in 1912.1 There are, however, some gaps and discrepancies in the combined material which beg examination. Further, Richard Stanford’s letters reveal much more of his personality than has previously been shown, and relate some insight into his opinions regarding events large and small.

Some of what has been written about Richard Stanford and the Stanford family in Dorchester county, Maryland, is certainly in error. An oft-repeated story is that Hon. Richard Stanford was the third of the name in successive generations, the first Richard arriving in Maryland from Scotland in 1633 aboard the Primrose. The second Richard was a plantation owner, and according to Crapo’s Certain Comeoverers, was born 18 Jan 1743. The span of 90 years makes it highly unlikely that the second Richard was the son of the immigrant Richard. However, it is probable that the second Richard was the father of Hon. Richard Stanford who was born 2 March 1767.2 Mr. Crapo makes a strong case for the elder Richard Stanford’s parents to have been William and Elizabeth Stanford. Dorchester county land records and the 1759 will of Elizabeth Stanford seem to corroborate Mr. Crapo’s speculation.

Dorchester county land records show that a William Stanford and both Richard Stanford and Richard Stanford, jr. witnessed the sale of some land in July of 1785. Then, according to Certain Comeoverers, in the fall of 1785, the elder Stanford loaded a ship with the produce of his plantation. Taking his two young sons, Algernon S. and Clement, Richard set out for the market at Baltimore. A storm carried the ship out to sea, where Richard Stanford died, then the ship made the port of Norfolk, Virginia, where he was buried. The unscrupulous captain confiscated the cargo for himself and stranded the two Stanford boys there until their older half-brother, Richard, retrieved them.

It is unclear where young Richard Stanford was educated, but he apparently attended college. The name Richard Stanford of Dorchester county appears on the subscription list for the establishment of Washington College in Kent county in 1782.3 Perhaps this is where Richard received his education. It’s certainly an enticing possibility.

Young Richard Stanford first appears in Orange county, NC, records in 17884 and he opened his academy in the Hawfields area in 1789. It has been well established that one of his pupils was Thomas Hart Benton who later became a Senator from Missouri. Another of Stanford’s pupils was John Taylor, Clerk of the Superior Court for Orange county for 40 years.5 The Hawfields area is also where Stanford’s future father-in-law, Alexander Mebane was a substantial landholder. Gen. Mebane had been a very prominent figure during the Revolutionary War and continued to take an active roll in Orange county affairs after the war ended. Alexander Mebane was elected to the US Congress and served from 1793 to 1795. Richard Stanford married Gen. Mebane’s daughter, Jennette, on March 17th, 1791.6 To this union, two daughters were born: Ariana, born 19 Jun 1792 and Mary Mebane, born 1 Nov 1794.7 Alexander Mebane died 5 Jul 1795 and named his daughter, Jennette Stanford, in his will, along with all his other children and grandchildren.

Orange county’s Deed and Land records were disrupted during the Revolutionary War, but extant records show that Richard Stanford began acquiring land in Orange county in February of 1795 when he bought 81 acres along the waters of Collins Creek. Over the next six years, he purchased a total of 1353 acres on Collins Creek. Although her death is not recorded in the Moore family bible, Jennette died about 1796 leaving Richard with two little girls to raise and a campaign for Congress to mount. Stanford’s opponent, the incumbent Absalom Tatom, apparently did not take Stanford’s opposition for office seriously. Tatom had been elected to Alexander Mebane’s seat, and dismissed Stanford as “an upstart school master.” Heavy rains for several days prior to the election prevented many of Tatom’s constituents from reaching the polling place. Stanford narrowly won the election, Tatom refused to serve out his unexpired term, and William Francis Strudwick served until Richard Stanford took his seat in the Fifth Congress, in May 1797.8 That session of Congress was held in Philadelphia, where the freshman Congressman from North Carolina first met Dr. Benjamin Rush, whose medical advice he would seek some four years later. Dr. Rush was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and in 1797 was the Treasurer of the Mint in Philadelphia.9

Other than the official record of Congress, little is known of Richard Stanford between the time of Jennette’s death and his subsequent marriage to Mary Moore, daughter of Stephen Moore of Mt. Tirzah in Person county. Stephen Moore had died in 1799, but Richard Stanford undoubtedly passed through Mt. Tirzah on his way to and from the Congressional sessions and developed a strong attachment to the Moore family. It was in 1801 that Dr. Benjamin Rush sent his recommendations to Richard Stanford for the treatment of Ann Moore’s medical condition, said to be nerve damage and partial paralysis.10 Ann Moore was universally called “Nancy.” Two years later, Richard married Mary Moore, Ann Moore’s younger sister, on September 11, 1803.11 A biographical sketch of Richard Stanford written in the early 1900’s by Stanford descendant, Samuel L. Adams of Halifax county, VA, states that Stanford used to travel through Person county, NC, and Halifax county, VA, in a gig, accompanied by a servant, going as far as Roanoke, VA, the home of John Randolph. From there, he and Mr. Randolph would usually take the stage to Washington. Mr. Adams related in his sketch that he had interviewed Mr. Jacob Blane, Sr. of Halifax county, several years previous to writing the sketch. Mr. Blane, the oldest resident of Halifax county living at the time, said that he had frequently seen Mr. Stanford as he passed through the village of Black Walnut on his way to and from Congress.12

The first of the many extant letters between Mary and Richard Stanford, and preserved in collections at Duke University, the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina State Archives, is written by Mary and dated 1 January 1804, a scant 4 months after their marriage. She writes from Mt. Tirzah and laments the fact that she has not heard from Richard in over a week, but blames the weather for the mails not getting through. Their letters to each other are often playful and lighthearted, or serious and reflective, depending on the circumstances. He called her “Polly”, once even calling her “Polly Moore” in a letter. Richard and Mary Moore Stanford had four children: Saurin was born 6 May 1806; Cornelia Adeline was born 3 July 1811, Richard Algernon Sidney was born 4 July 1814, and Caroline was born 11 February 1816.13 Ariana and Mary Mebane, called “Polly Mebane” came to think of Mary as their mother, as letters written by Ariana to Mary were addressed as “Dear Mama.” One of the most informative and interesting letters that Richard Stanford wrote, was written to his mother-in-law, Grizey Moore. In it, he resignedly describes himself as the father who is last to know of his eldest daughter’s impending marriage.

Washington city
May 24 1812
Dear Madam
I have just had the pleasure of your favour of the 12th inst & am glad to hear Polly has been to see you- the more so if this is the first visit she has paid you since I left home. She had not writ [page torn] she has been to see you this winter at all, tho I had requested her to go whenever she so inclined.
I am also glad to hear you think Adeline so fine a baby. It is so long since I saw her I have forgotten her looks, & have to see & have her in my arms. That Saurin's trial at school should have failed I can well imagine. His whims & his plays, I fear, will not allow him to do any good soon. I have thought the Lanconst [page torn-possibly “Lancastrian”] school here would do him better than ----- I have ever seen.
The young man who teaches this school here, came from England last fall, is not much older than Sydney, has about 400 children under his tuition now, & expects 600 in the course of the summer. And so extraordinary is his method that I believe he can teach them more in three months than common teaching could effect in a year & all without a [page torn] their hands. The enclosed paper contains a short piece on the subject.
As to Ariana's marriage- the family with which she has become connected, or any particulars in relation to them or their circumstances, I knew nothing, till the receipt of your very friendly letter, other than that such a thing was in contemplation-- no one corresponded with me on that subject nor was it necessary they should, as on the first suggestion I referred the business to her Hawfield friends, determining to place the condition of my trust upon theirs. I hope it will prove as happy as you are pleased to anticipate, yet my mind has been long since made up upon these occasions, to acquiesce in silence; to acquiesce at any rate.
As to our deliberations & doings here, the party-spirit which prevails & the war which you [page torn] & deprecate are justly to be deprecated-- the [page torn] to produce calamities in our hap [page torn] , I fear, which it was sincerely my wish you would never again have [page torn]-tness-- & which if it should not be your lot, it must be the lot of many thousand mothers besides, to mourn their sons that are gone, never again to return to gladden their mother's affectionate bosom. As you justly observe the signs of the times, speak it. Heaven's judgments seem to have gone abroad in our land-- & if ripe for his farther visitations, where is the means to avert it?- where the hope to avoid it? At present I feel none expect more & am now waiting-- looking on upon this infatuation of our councils as the forerunner of the coming evil! It must [page torn] & most sincerely do I comment & dread the consequences!--
I hope Sydney's care & management will more than equal your expectations in your plantation affairs, of his industry. I feel no doubt of his steadiness some. But perhaps it would be a helpful encouragement to him, if you were to let him apply your hands at convenient times of the year to some small improvements of his own [page torn-very fragmented] -----a little------repairing-------the trees & the like. All this ----be done which would---helpful & --------to him, at no ---- injurious to your------
I am very sorry to hear of sister Nancy's ill health. I hope she is better, that her pal [smudged-illegible] up & that she is nursing their growth. A lady here (& one too -----ly as afflicted as herself) has a rose bush in her window, that blooms every day in the year. I have been often there this winter, & never without seeing a rose blooming, or in bloom- -& never without thinking of her & secretly wishing I knew a way to contrive one to her. The fancy & novelty of a daily rose would assure her more than anything I know.
For you both my sincerest best wishes as[page torn]

It is interesting to note that Richard Stanford took his young son, Saurin, with him to Washington at least once, in order for Saurin to attend school or be tutored there, and the same letter reveals Stanford’s concerns for his country’s recovery after the War of 1812:

Washington City
17 Feb 1815
My Dear Girl
Once more it has pleased overruling [page torn] to bless us with the return of peace. The joy which the occasion has spread thro’ the town this way exceeds the powers of my description. I trust in our time we shall know war no more, nor its calamities. This has loaded the country with 150 millions of debt, & will oppress us with taxes for many years to come. But we can work out of it all in time, if like madness should not again seize upon our rulers.
I apprized you that I thought I should reach Mr. Forteman’s on the 10th of March. I still hope to do so, but if I fail thro’ the weather, or other difficulties in the way, don’t lose patience for a day, or even two, if I should not reach them on the appointed day—I may have to wait a day or two for the stage.
Saurin is bad off with a cough & cold. I bathed his feet last night & gave him some balsam tea. He slept well & has gone to school today.
Your “own”

Having passed through Halifax county with his father, probably on numerous occasions, something must have impressed young Saurin Stanford, for he would return in later years to marry. He married there on 13 September 1827, Susan Rebecca Wade, daughter of Richard and Sarah (Chappell) Wade.16

In Congress, Richard was forming strong friendships with colleagues Nathaniel Macon and William Gaston of North Carolina and John Randolph of Virginia. He was reportedly a resident of Crawford’s Hotel in Georgetown17 when Congress was in session in Washington City, and among his fellow lodgers there were William Gaston, John Randolph and Francis Scott Key. That Stanford and Key were well acquainted is attested to by the letter of John Randolph to Richard Stanford dated Baltimore, 13 October 1814:
If Frank Key be with you, salute him cordially. Yours truly, J R of Roanoke18

Throughout his career in Congress, Richard Stanford wrote reports on the state of affairs in Washington, sometimes addressing them to a constituent, in other years using the report as a campaign letter. Frequently, his letters to Mary were instructions on running the plantations in his absence, other times he remarks on events of the day, or the business of government. The last known letter that Richard Stanford wrote to his wife indicates his enthusiasm for a new mode of travel, the steam boat, and his determination to undertake the business of Congress in a timely manner:

Washington City
4 Dec 1815
My Dear Girl
I have arrived in good health, & I hope this will find you much recovered. The next day after parting with Yancy [page torn] 130 miles, a day sooner at least, than he will reach the carriage, but today or tomorrow I expect he will arrive at home. I came in the steamboat half the distance, the greatest improvement in traveling that ever has been discovered. Heaven’s goodness is poured out upon man in a thousand ways, & he continues the ungrateful receiver!
We shall repeal some, & reduce other taxes, & may, I presume, get over the business of the session sooner than we have done, tho’ it is not often that Congress does what it might in that way—
Can you make some arrangement with your mother for the succeeding crop-I want to do something in that way, but I want an even, & equal one. I pay a large rent, you know, for the place.
Suppose I send down 2 or 3 hands & repair the fences, trim the orchard, etc. & then have a hand with Scipio to go on with the crop, what will be right in the division? If I had an overseer I would rather, but if a suitable overseer cannot be had, I would rather have none.
I am sorry I have not got Saurin here, for company. Everybody is asking after him—and I reckon he adds to your trouble. I have not yet enquired for a young man to teach him, but shall do it this week.
My best love to you all

Richard Stanford, the Congressman, was a strong proponent for a fiscally responsible federal government, and he vigorously opposed a pay raise for Congressmen. It was John Randolph, in making his point about the propriety of an appointment before the House, who referred to Richard Stanford as the “Father of the House.” He asked his colleagues to consult the “older” members, in terms of service rather than age, to interpret the intent of an earlier Congress’s rule in the matter. This discussion took place during the Fourteenth Congress, and indeed, Richard Stanford was serving his tenth term in office; thus, he could justifiably be considered the Father of the House. These proceedings in Congress had begun on the 4th of December, 1815, the date of the preceding letter. In February, 1816, Caroline Stanford was born at Mt. Tirzah. Richard Stanford never saw his youngest daughter. He appears in the records of Congress until Saturday, the 30th of March. Then on Tuesday, April 9th, William Gaston announced the death of Richard Stanford to the House. He wrote to Mary Stanford the following letter, informing her of the death of her husband:

10 April 1816
I know not, my dear Madam, how to perform the melancholy duty which has devolved upon me. I am unable to find expressions which are suited to a communication of the terrible calamity which has befallen you. My hope, my trust is that the fortitude and resignation which are inspired by religion will sustain you in this awful visitation of Providence.
On the evening of Sunday, the 31st of March, Mr. Stanford was attacked by a seemingly slight cold and fever. The succeeding day he took a little medicine, kept his room and got better. On Tuesday he imprudently went to the House, and on his return was seized with a violent chill and fever: on Wednesday the Erysipelas, or St. Anthony’s Fire made its appearance on his face, and learning from him that he had been formerly plagued by the same disease, we had no fear as to the result. It continued, however, to be very severe for several days, an on the day before yesterday, (Monday) it became apparent that his brain was highly affected by it. Apprehending then a disastrous termination, I wrote on the following morning to Mr. Peck entreating him that he would appraise you of Mr. Stanford’s alarming situation, by way of preparing you for the fatal event we dreaded. Our worst fears Madam, have been realized. All efforts to remove the inflammation of his brain failed and at half past three o’clock last evening his soul forsook its mortal tenement.
I neglected no attention which during his illness I could believe useful. The last night of his existence, I watched with him and I witnessed his expiring groan. After his illness became severe, he was entirely unconscious of this situation and insensible to pain.
No man esteemed Mr. Stanford more sincerely than myself---none more cordially sympathizes in the distresses of his bereaved widow and children. I shall esteem it my bounden duty to take care of his effects here, and in all things coming under my view to manifest by my cares and exertions, the strength and fidelity of my friendship.
With the highest respects and the most cordial sympathy in your calamity,
I have the honor to be Madam,
Your most Obedient Servant,
William Gaston

Richard Stanford was buried at Congressional Cemetery. It should be noted that one biographer of John Randolph states that he, Randolph, was at his bedside at the time of his death. Perhaps they both were. The year 1816 was to be doubly devastating for Mary Stanford, for in September, the seven month old Caroline died, too. Though Mary was severely tested in that year, she persevered and lived another 35 years. She died in 1851 at the age of 72. The 1850 census of Alamance county (Alamance had been formed out of Orange county in 1849) shows that Mary was living next door to her daughter, Cornelia Adeline Webb, who was herself a widow of 2 years.

Of Richard Stanford’s other children, Ariana married the Rev. Elijah Graves and died in Texas in 1864. Mary Mebane married Andrew Stith and died in Marshall county, Mississippi, in 1840. Saurin stayed in Orange county and died in 1876. He is buried at his homeplace in the southwest corner of Orange county, as is his wife, Susan Rebecca (Wade) Stanford and mother, Mary (Moore) Stanford. Richard Algernon Stanford also stayed in Orange county, and married twice; first to Elizabeth Ann Thompson, and second to Ann Patillo. He died in 1860.

The many descendants of the Hon. Richard Stanford of the 21st century can be justifiably proud of their ancestor, for he was truly a man of integrity and principal, who served his state and country faithfully and well. He was highly esteemed and greatly lamented by his colleagues in Congress, as well as his family and friends in North Carolina.

1 Henry Howland Crapo, Certain Comeoverers (New Bedford, MA: E. Anthony & Sons, 1912)
2 Moore Family Bible record, (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1802), # 1900-Webb Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
3 Horace Wemyss Smith, Life and Correspondence of Rev. William Smith, D.D., Vol. 2, p81. In an interesting coincidence, Rev. William Smith was married to Rebecca Moore, daughter of William Moore of Moore Hall, Chester county, PA. Hon. Richard Stanford married Mary Moore, daughter of Stephen Moore who was the nephew of William Moore of Moore Hall. Rev. Smith had been the Provost of the College of Philadelphia but during the Revolutionary War and its ensuing chaos, had removed to Chestertown, MD, to assume the Rectorship of a church there. He became Principal of a small academy, Kent County School, which he set about improving and bringing up to the standards of the College of Philadelphia. In 1782, he applied for and was granted a charter as Washington College, for which he raised by subscription about £10,300, a remarkable feat in wartime.
4 Orange County, NC, Court Minutes, 1787-1793, vol. 3, p62-November Term 1788
5 Herbert Snipes Turner, D.D. Church in the Old Fields (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962), p132.
6 Moore Family Bible
7 Moore Family Bible
8 Archibald Henderson, Richard Stanford’s Career Reads Like Cinderella Tale, reprinted from “Greensboro Daily News”, Greensboro, NC, Sunday 13 July, 1941; John L. Cheney, Jr., editor, North Carolina Government, 1585- 1974, A Narrative and Statistical History, (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, 1974) p665
9 William Bridgewater and Seymour Kurtz, editors, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Third Edition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1963)
10 Letter dated 19 Dec 1801, Philadelphia, from Dr. Benjamin Rush to Richard Stanford, Esq. Member of Congress from North Carolina, City of Washington, typescript copy, Manuscript section, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC
11 Moore Family Bible
12 Samuel L. Adams, A Brief Sketch of the Life of Richard Stanford, Member of Congress from the Hillsboro District, State of North Carolina, undated manuscript in the hands of many Stanford descendants
13 Moore Family Bible
14 #2205-Stephen Moore Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill
15 Richard Stanford Papers, North Carolina State Archives
16 Moore Family Bible; Marriage Bond, Halifax County, VA, Circuit Court, Book 1, p26
17 William S. Powell, editor, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 5, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990); Jack English Hightower, The Family of William Clayton Hightower and Mai Cole, Their Ancestors and Descendants, A Genealogy/Family History (self-published, Austin, TX, 1988), p124
18 Letter in the private collection of Stanford descendant, Jean Stanford Mann, Chapel Hill, NC.
19 Richard Stanford Papers, North Carolina State Archives
20 Richard Stanford Papers, North Carolina State Archives

Written for the Historic Congressional Cemetery website: http://congressionalcemetery.org/

Monday, June 29, 2009

Edwin Godwin Reade (1812-1894)

Edwin Godwin Reade (1812-1894)
by Thomas R. Tillett
February, 1993

Edwin Godwin Reade, in the opinion of the author, was by far the most prominent, distinguished and benevolent of any of the Reades that ever came out of Person County.

The second son of Robert Richard Reade and his 2nd wife, Judith Anderson Gooch, Edwin G. Reade was born in the Mt. Tirzah area of Person county on 13 Nov 1812. His father had migrated to the Mt. Tirzah area from Isle of Wight county, VA, as a young man. Edwin Reade had 8 half-brothers and –sisters from his father’s first marriage. (One of these half-sisters was Mary Payne Reade who married Sidney Moore, son of Stephen Moore, and who was my great-great-grandmother.) After the death of his first wife, Robert Richard Reade married Judith Anderson Gooch, daughter of John Gooch. Edwin G. was the middle of three sons born of this marriage. His younger brother, Washington F. Reade, was my great-grandfather.

Edwin G. Reade’s father died when Edwin was 4 years old. His mother, and educated woman for her day, gave Edwin the rudiments of education at home. Some years later, Edwin G. Reade built for his mother (who was by then a cripple) a home especially designed so that she could move around in it.

At age 18, Edwin G. left his mother’s farm and started out to get an education by his own exertion. He entered the academy of George Morrow, in Orange county, and later the academy of Rev. Alexander Wilson, in Granville county, as assistant teacher. Although these academies had well prepared Edwin for college, he never became a student at a formal university. Instead, at age 21, he returned to his mother’s home and began the private study of law. He read the books of Benjamin Sumner, a retired lawyer, who kindly loaned them to him, and who occasionally examined his progress. Edwin received his license to practice law in 1835 (in the same manner that his contemporary, Abraham Lincoln was to obtain his law license a year later.) After the receipt of his license to practice law, Edwin G. Reade began a long and distinguished career in law, politics, banking, business and philanthropy that was to last for almost 60 years.

Some of the titles which Edwin G. Reade held and honors which he received consist of the following:
· Lawyer
· Magistrate
· Chief Justice of Person County Court
· Member of State Legislature
· Justice of North Carolina Supreme Court
· Representative in U.S. Congress from NC
· Senator in the Confederate Congress
· President of the State Convention to form a new constitution and return to the Union
· Recipient of an honorary LLD degree from UNC
· Grand Master of the Masons (two terms)
· President of the NC Bar Association
· Elder in the Presbyterian Church for 30 years
· President of 2 banks (I have in my possession a well-worn $5.00 bank note, dated 1862, drawn on the Bank of Roxboro and signed by Edwin G. Reade, President.)

When Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, Judge Edwin Reade was asked if he would consider serving on President Lincoln’s Cabinet. Judge Reade declined but did later serve a short term as a senator in the Confederate Congress.

Judge Reade became a distinguished writer and also gained wide fame as an orator. He delivered the addresses at the laying of the cornerstones at the U.S. Post Office at Raleigh and the Oxford Orphanage in Oxford, NC. Judge Reade is also remembered for his addresses to the NC Bar Association in Asheville in 1884, and Raleigh in 1886.

Edwin G. Reade was first married in 1836 to Emily Ann L. Moore, the daughter of Phillips Moore and granddaughter of Stephen Moore. Emily died in 1871 and is buried in the Moore-Reade family cemetery at Mt. Tirzah. Later that same year, Edwin G. Reade married a widow, Mary E. Parmele. Although Judge Reade had no children of his own by either wife, his “family” became the sons and daughters of his two brother. For the education of this family, Judge Reade endowed and had built the “Readeland Academy” at Mt. Tirzah.

Just as Edwin G. Reade had been benevolent to his adopted family of nieces and nephews during his lifetime, so was he most generous to them at his death. His will designated inheritances to 49 nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Among those who inherited a token from “Uncle Ned” was my mother, Sue Bettie Reade, who was 7 years old when he died.

Edwin G. Reade died in Raleigh on 18 October 1894 at age 82. He is buried in Raleigh. A historical marker in memory of Edwin G. Reade is located along Highway 501 South in the Timberlake area.

To quote an article in a Raleigh newspaper written during Judge Reade’s later years: “Judge Reade was plain, direct, straightforward, conscientious. He has risen by the force of his own effort and will power from a humble station to distinction and eminence and wealth. His life is radiant with good deeds. To many persons in distress and need and sorrow, he has given a brightened life and his charities have always been done in secret. A God-fearing man from his youth; of simple, unostentatious manners, he has spent a long life in the performance of his duties to God and man.”
This article originally appeared in the Moore/Stanford/Webb Chronicles in volume 7, #2, 1999. Thomas Reade Tillett died on January 20, 2008, age 83, and is buried in the Mt. Tirzah United Methodist Church cemetery.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Artificers and Laborers at Mount Tirzah in Caswell County, North Carolina, 1781-1782

Artificers and Laborers at Mount Tirzah in Caswell County, North Carolina, 1781-1782
by Terri Bradshaw O’Neill* - 2009©
Col. Stephen Moore moved his family from his native New York to North Carolina sometime between May of 1775 and September of 1776. (Family letters: Rebecca Moore to Stephen Moore at West Point, 10 May 1775; Stephen Moore in Philadelphia to Grizey Moore, North Carolina, 18 Sep 1776. Stephen Moore Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of SC, Columbia, South Carolina.) He was living at his inherited estate at West Point, New York, and the “Rumor of War” was a likely reason for the move. The Moore family initially arrived in Granville County; Stephen soon set about acquiring land in the Deep Creek and Flat River area of Orange County which eventually became Caswell County, and then later, Person County. (Katherine Kendall Kerr, Caswell County, North Carolina, Deed Books 1777-1817, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989.) He established his home, naming it Mount Tirzah, and engaged in Planting and trade, setting up a store or trading post. When Caswell County was formed Stephen Moore was appointed one of the Justices, and sometime in 1779 or 1780, he was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in the Second Regiment of North Carolina Militia under Col. Ambrose Ramsey. (Revolutionary War Pension Application of William Ray, Sr., micropublication M804, Roll 2006, National Archives, Washington, DC) After participating in the disastrous Battle of Camden, SC, on 16 Aug 1780 and becoming a captive of the British, he was marched to Charleston where he was held until his exchange in June of 1781. Upon his return to North Carolina, Col. Stephen Moore was once again an active participant in the war effort as evidenced by the following Return, his home serving as Post Mount Tirzah. He also served as Deputy Quartermaster General of Hillsborough District. From the time of his return from captivity, through the duration of the War, Stephen Moore actively sought compensation for the damages and losses to his West Point property. On the recommendation of Gen. Henry Knox, and at the urging of Gen. George Washington, the fledgling United States government finally bought West Point from Stephen Moore in 1790.

Col. Moore’s return of artificers (which is endorsed “Artificers & Labourers employed at Post Mount Tirzah, 1781-82”) is preserved in Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, Military Papers, 1781-1782, Box 9, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC. There are 33 men named in this return. The entire list may be seen in The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. XXV, No. 4, November 1999: 411-17. For the purposes of this blog, only one name is being listed, that of Robert Moore. The significance of the fact that Robert Moore, son of Stephen Moore, served a term in the Militia, is that all of Robert’s descendants would qualify for membership in the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution on his own service as well as Stephen’s. And, this further reinforces the 1762 birth date for Robert in that he could hardly have served in the militia at the age of 12, but a young man of 19 would certainly be the ideal age to serve as an express rider.

Return of Artificers & Labourers enter’d in the Q’r Masters Department under direction of Col. Stephen Moore Mount Tirzah Caswell county.
persons Name Rob’t MOORE
when enter’d 11 September
occupation Expr’s [rider]
Terms M’a Tour [militia tour]
Time to serve 3 month
Job engaged for
Casual remarks

* Excerpted from The North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. XXV, No. 4, November 1999: 411-17.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Call For Papers

This Stephen Moore of Mt. Tirzah Family blog is best served when all readers consider becoming contributors of articles as well. Many of you are in a position to know particulars about family individuals, because they are in your line and perhaps you have family bibles, letters, deeds, wills, and other documents which help us know more about many of the very interesting members of the greater family. For example, I would like to post articles about Dr. Portius Moore and Dr. Bailey Webb. These can be of any era from the 1600s to the present; for example, the ante-bellum period, or the War Between the States period.

Perhaps, you live in the Triangle, NC area. Did you know that there is a wealth of information about our family in the Southern Historical Collection and the North Carolina Collection at the Wilson Library on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Likewise, the Stephen Moore Papers are in a collection at the Perkins Library at Duke in Durham. The North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh is also full of information. And there is undoubtably information in private hands that has never been donated to a library that you may know about.

Suggest to your children, when they next need to write an essay, to research some aspect of the Moore family that interests them in one of the resources listed above. Many libraries have Genealogy Rooms with helpful staff to find the information you need such as census records, death notices, and cemetery records.

In addition to the Moore surname, there are many other names in the family that deserve research such as Stanford, Webb, Horner, and Reade to name just a few. Though I have used Stephen Moore's name in the title of this blog because most of us associate ourselves with him, his father Col. John, and his grandfather, Hon. John should be included, as well as the collateral branches of the Moore family.

Terri Bradshaw O'Neill has without question been the foremost genealogy researcher of the Moore family. Many of you may have copies of her wonderful publication of the 1990s, the Moore / Stanford / Webb Chronicles. Some of that content may from time to time be posted here, but this blog is not a substitute for that body of work. Though Terri stopped publishing the Chronicles some 10 years ago, her interest and her research has never flagged and she has gone on to publish articles in scholarly journals. She is a great friend of mine (besides being my 5th cousin, once removed) and is already contributing to this blog.

Like other plantation owners, the Moores were also slave owners. There has been a concerted effort on research of African-American heritage at Stagville and Somerset Place. Likewise, there may be similar stories that need to be researched in connection with the Moores. Remember Roots and Chicken George? The TV program changed their name from Lea (a family on the Person-Caswell county line) to Moore, which really upset me because it was supposed to be a documentary telling a true story.

There is one caveat though that should be remembered: document, document, document. We want this blog to contain truth. Be able to back up your research from as many primary sources as possible and be careful about using secondary sources. You will note that in my original Stephen Moore Genealogy post that I have already had to retract or explain some statements that I used from secondary sources, because you the reader have been alert and made comments. Keep it up! In your articles, be sure to attribute your sources such as footnotes and/or a listing of references at the end.

Please think of this blog as an ongoing "living" book to which we all contribute. Consider me to be the editor, not the author. I also suggest that you join the blog as a "follower" in the left margin, because that will inter-connect us as the Moore cousins we are. Something about yourself and picture in your profile will further help us to get to know one another. Thanks.

To contribute your article, see Email your editor in the left sidebar. Please include your full name, your postal address, your phone number (in case I need to write or call you -- they will not be published), your email, and your relationship to Stephen Moore. The article should be in Microsoft Word webpage format (.htm). Also include pictures embedded in the document or to be added in .jpg format.

Feel free to directly comment on any article by clicking on "comments" at the bottom of each post.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Was Robert the "Black Sheep"?

by David Jeffreys & Terri O'Neill, June 2009 ©
Was Robert the "black sheep" of the Stephen Moore children? I always thought of him that way, because there is voluminous data and documentation of all the siblings, it would seem, but Robert! Duke's Perkins Library is full of information about Stephen and the Southern Historical Collection in UNC's Wilson Library has lots of information about the siblings including the now infamous bible that recorded John's birth, but not Robert's birth.

As Terri O'Neill has told you, "Over the past couple of months, there has been a flurry of activity among three of our group: Steve Moore, David Jeffreys and me, Terri O'Neill. It's kind of a long story, but essentially, Steve found a good TN website http://www.tngenweb.org/records/tn_wide/obits/nca/nca72-09.html that had a lot of information on Yancey Moore, son of Robert Moore, son of Stephen Moore. Yancey moved to Carroll county, TN, sometime in the 1830's and sort of disappeared off the radar of NC researchers. The sketch on Yancey at the TN site mentioned a family bible belonging to the sister of Yancey, Sarah Harriett Moore, who was married to Richard Henry Moore, son of Portius. Still with me so far? This family bible had a birth date for Robert Moore of 5 Nov 1762, which was 7 years EARLIER than his presumed birth year of 1769. Almost simultaneously to this discovery, I was directed to another great website called cemetery census <http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/index.htm> and while exploring that, went to the Stanford Family Cemetery page #275 in Orange county. In reading the description, I noticed that they stated the monument was placed there in the 1970's. I had pictures of the dedication of the monument which appeared to be taken in the early 1950's. I thought I also had copies of a list of attendees to that cemetery monument dedication that would tell the date. It turns out that the dedication was in 1949 & I didn't have a list for it. But in the process of searching for THAT list, I found another list of attendees for a reunion held at the home of Stephen Moore, Mt. Tirzah, that took place 3 Oct 1925. In preparation for the reunion, biographical sketches of some of the children & grandchildren of Stephen Moore were compiled. The sketch compiled for Robert Moore began: "Robert Charles Moore, only son of Gen. Stephen Moore and Julia, who was an actress." The sketch then went on to detail 4 of Robert's children including Gilbert & Sarah Harriett, but omitting Yancey. Well, once I finally connected the dots between the bible record birth date and the sketch of Robert for the reunion, I thought I'd better consult with one of Robert's descendants, David Jeffreys, to see if he had ever gotten wind of this situation. His reaction was, "Well, NO." But when we started thinking about it, we began to realize this answered some nagging questions: Why wasn't Robert mentioned in the Mary (Moore) Stanford bible, which gives birth dates for everyone EXCEPT Robert? Why wasn't Robert mentioned in any of the early letters between Moore family members, particularly one dated 1774 in which Stephen writes to Grizey & mentions Phillips & Frances? Robert witnessed an important document (a release of dower that enabled Stephen Moore to sell the West Point property) in 1784. If he was born in 1769, he would only have been 15 years old, and not qualified to witness such a document. Stephen was such a meticulous record keeper, and conscientious public servant, it's quite improbable he would have let that detail slip by.
We made a concerted effort to track down the bible that had belonged to Sarah Harriett & Richard Henry Moore to verify Robert's birth date. We got pretty close, locating Willard Moore in Gibsonville, NC, whose mother had possession of the bible in 1962. Willard did not know for sure where the bible was but sent a copy of a transcript his brother Fletcher had made. The transcript had the birth date recorded in two places, and the death date confirmed it further: born 5 Nov 1762, died 27 Nov 1827, age 65. The research is continuing..."

Terri emailed the administrator of the website, Paulette Carpenter, with the following information: "Sorry it took so long to get this to you, but it took some time to track down the bible that had the crucial records we were seeking-the birth date of Robert Moore, father of Sarah Harriet Moore. My research partners & I managed to track down a descendant of Mattie Thompson Moore, in whose possession the bible was in 1962. He was unsure if he had the bible, which may be in a trunk in his attic. He did, however, send me a transcript that his brother made of the bible pages (undated) that confirmed the date of birth of Robert Moore: 5 Nov 1762. He promised to search for the bible as soon as he could, but for now, the transcript will have to do. This birth date for Robert certainly answers some questions that have bothered family researchers for a very long time. One of Robert's descendants thought he must have been a "black sheep", but couldn't put a finger on why. I've always sensed a sort of "apartness" for Robert, though I'm not a descendant of his line. It's just that in all the family letters that survive, no one ever mentions Robert. Yet, there is no doubt that he is Stephen Moore's son. He is one of the executors of Stephen Moore's will, and is named an heir as well."

The reader may want to view the original website regarding Yancey Moore before reading the corrections that Terri suggested:


Terri goes on to say: "Since this is drastically different from the accepted information concerning Robert Moore, there may be some questions about what is presented in this article."

Some Additions and Corrections to Death Notices from the Christian Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee 1880-1882 #2, compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson § ¦ Smith ¦ §
Submitted by Terri Bradshaw O’Neill

The discussion following pertains to Yancey Moore of Carroll county, TN, his father, Robert Moore of Person county, NC, and Robert’s father, Stephen Moore of Person county, NC.
Pages 77-78
“Robert Moore was one of the twins born to General Stephen and Grizey Moore, according to the old Stanford family Bible (see page 80), on Nov. 12 1769. There is a discrepancy in Robert’s birth as to the day and year of his birth as given in the R. H. and S. H. Moore family Bible, i.e. Nov. 5, 1762.”
· Family researchers have long wondered at the omission of Robert Moore from the Stanford family bible record, and the wording therein: “Their son John born Novr. 12, 1769.” This is the next entry after the birth dates of Stephen Moore and Grizey Phillips were recorded, strongly suggesting that John was the first child born to Stephen and Grizey (Phillips) Moore. The omission of Robert was generally dismissed as a minor detail of the record being copied in haste, and the assumption became that Robert was the twin of John, who died before reaching the age of one year, which is also recorded in this bible. The bible goes on to record the births of son Phillips, born 12 July 1771, and daughter Frances, born 5 Nov 1773. Among the letters of Stephen Moore located in Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, #1060-A Howell Collection 1742-74, is a letter dated 12 Feb 1774. Stephen writes to wife Grizey (at West Point) on his way to Canada, expressing hope for a speedy return to “you and our dear little ones” and imploring her to “keep up a remembrance of me in mind of my dear little Chatter Box and give them both daily kisses in my behalf.” This letter clearly indicates that Stephen and Grizey have two small children (John having already died): Phillips, age 2 and a half, and Frances, 3 months. There is no mention of Robert.
· Of the family letters that survive between Stephen Moore and his sisters Rebecca Moore and Frances (Moore) Bayard, there is one dated 30 Apr 1763 full of family news. Two others, one dated 8 Aug 1768, the other dated 5 Apr 1769 from Rebecca made cryptic references to disappointment & ill fortune Stephen had met with, the latter also mentions the importance of taking a companion for future days. Sister Frances Bayard wrote Stephen in May, 1769 to congratulate him on his marriage, 5 months after the fact. Robert Moore is never mentioned or accounted for in these early family letters, which were found in the South Caroliniana Library of the University of South Carolina, Stephen Moore papers. In December of 1768, Stephen Moore settled his West Point property on Grizey Phillips as a marriage dower. This document is among the Papers of the Continental Congress (M247, roll 74, item 60, pp.441-2) They were married 25 Dec 1768 as recorded in the Stanford Bible. Stephen Moore moved his family from New York to North Carolina sometime between May of 1775 and September, 1776 and as early as 1779, began petitioning the Continental Congress for compensation for damages done to West Point. By 1784, he was petitioning Congress to buy the West Point property. Along with the above mentioned marriage settlement is filed a release of dower, signed by Grizey Moore, enabling Stephen to sell the property (pp. 443-4). This release of dower, dated 1784, was witnessed by Robert Moore. It is the earliest known document on which Robert Moore’s signature appears. If Robert had been born, as assumed, in 1769, he would be witnessing this important document at age 15, an improbable occurrence. Robert appeared 3 years earlier on a “Return of Artificers and Laborers at Post Mt. Tirzah, 1781-2” enrolled for a 3 month militia tour as an express rider. (NC State Archives, Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s Papers, Military Papers, 1781-1782, Box 9, or see North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. XXV, No.4:411-17, Nov. 1999) This Robert Moore so employed could not have been a child of 12, but, using the 5 Nov. 1762 date, a young man of 19 years old is certainly plausible.
· In the Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, #955-Augustus W. Graham papers, Moore family folder, #257, Series 2.8 is found a “List of Descendants of General Stephen Moore Who Attended the Reunion and Picnic at Mt. Tirzah, Person County, [NC] on Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 1925”. In preparation for the reunion, biographical information was collected for some of Stephen Moore’s children and grandchildren, among them “Robert Charles Moore, only child of Gen. Stephen Moore and Julia, who was an actress.” This biographical sketch then went on to name 4 of Robert’s 8 children, omitting Yancey Moore, who had moved to Carroll county, TN, sometime in the 1830’s. Here was the explanation for why Robert was not included in the Stanford family bible record. Though there is no doubt that Robert was the son of Stephen Moore, he was not the son of Stephen and Grizey.
“In the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 4, edited by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill, 1991), pages 308-9, General Moore’s career is well delineated…More grievous, perhaps, is the claim that he served in the U.S. Congress in 1793.”
· This claim is, in fact, erroneous. However, North Carolina Government 1585-1974 A Narrative & Statistical History, edited by John L. Cheney, Jr., p.206 shows that Stephen Moore represented Caswell county briefly in the State Assembly of 1780, First Session, 17 Apr-10 May in the House of Commons.

(Page 79)
“…married at Quebec on Christmas Day, 1768…He thereafter had fair success as a merchant with his official residence having been Moore’s Folly on the Hudson [West Point]…
· Stephen Moore had established himself as a merchant in Quebec even before his service as deputy paymaster to the British troops ended as evidenced by the ledgers and account books he kept dating from 1761. Two of these account books are held in the special collections at the Perkins Library, Duke University, while a third is in private hands. Stephen had two business partners in Quebec. Eleazor Levy and Hugh Finlay, who would become Stephen’s brother-in-law. Hugh Finlay eventually became the Postmaster at Quebec. Stephen Moore remained in Quebec until 1770, when he moved to his estate at West Point. The failure of both the mercantile and trade enterprises of Moore & Finlay, and the partnership with Eleazor Levy are likely reasons that motivated the move to New York.
“…temporarily imprisoned on the POW ship, “Forbay”…
· The name of the prison ship has been misinterpreted, most likely due to a poor copy or illegible handwriting. The name of the ship was Torbay, as shown on the letter written by Lt. Col. Stephen Moore and Maj. John Barnwell, dated 18 May 1781, to Maj. Gen. N. Greene. (Papers of Continental Congress, R175,V.2:217-20.)
“He afterwards served in several governmental capacities, including Deputy Quartermaster General of North Carolina, from which position came his title as ‘General’ Stephen Moore.”
· Stephen Moore held the rank of Brigadier General of Militia and issued muster orders in several issues of the North Carolina Journal, a weekly publication. The 26th of January 1795 issue directed units from the counties of Randolph, Chatham, Wake, Orange, Granville, Person & Caswell to muster on specific dates. This order was issued from Mount Tirzah, Person County. In the August 1st, 1796 issue, an order to muster “for the purpose of review” was published by order of Maj. Gen. W. R. Davie & Stephen Moore, B. G. Another order to muster appeared in the Oct. 24th, 1796 issue, again from Mt. Tirzah, Person County, Stephen Moore, B. G.
“At the time he [Stephen Moore] wrote his will [27 September 1797], a son Cadmus, had died only twenty-two days previously.”
· It was son Marcus who had died 5 September 1797 at age 17. Cadmus had died 4 May 1789, almost 2 years old.

(Page 80)
“…A Stanford Family Bible…These entries were all made at one time in the same handwriting, whose is unknown.” Pictures of the birth, marriage and death pages are shown, followed by a transcript of the entries.
· This Bible is located at the Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, #1900 Webb Family Papers, UNC-Chapel Hill. Inside the front cover is the bookplate of Stephen Moore. The bible was published by Matthew Carey, Philadelphia, PA, in 1802. The entries shown are in the handwriting of Mary (Moore) Stanford, daughter of Stephen and Grizey Moore. The bookplate, publication date and entries in the handwriting of Mary Moore Stanford suggest that the early entries were indeed copied from an earlier bible record. Most likely, the bible was a gift from Grizey Moore to Mary on the occasion of Mary’s marriage to the Hon. Richard Stanford, 11 September 1803 at Mt. Tirzah. There are many examples of Mary Moore Stanford’s handwriting to be found in collections at the Southern Historical Collection and the North Carolina State Archives.
“Grizey Moore departed this life the 14 January 1820 at Mount Tirzah aged 72.”
· By careful examination of this entry, it is clear that the zero in the date is overwritten with a two. Grizey’s birth date is expressed using the old style Julian calendar, in which the first day of the year was 25 March, as: 13 February 1748:9. In the newer style Gregorian calendar, her birth year would be 1749. When Grizey died in 1822 she was just a month short of her 73rd birthday.

This concludes the additions and corrections to Jonathan K. T. Smith’s Death Notices from the Christian Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee 1880-1882 #2. The Bible belonging to Richard Henry & Sarah Harriet Moore, daughter of Robert Moore, was last known to be in the possession of Mrs. Mattie Thompson Moore, the wife of Charles Fletcher Moore in 1962. In order to verify Robert Moore’s birth date as recorded in the bible, an attempt was made to locate the bible by contacting descendants. An undated transcription of the bible pages was made by Charles Fletcher Moore, Jr., in which he stated, “I copy this just as it is in the bible.” The entries for Robert were: Robert Moore was born November the 5th A. D. 1762, and, Robert Moore died November 27th 1827-Age 65 years. Until the original Bible is located, this meticulously copied transcription must serve as the proof that Robert Moore was born six years before the marriage of Stephen Moore to Grizey Phillips, the son of Stephen Moore and the unidentified Julia, the step-son of Grizey, and the half-brother of Mary (Moore) Stanford.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Wilson Library, Southern Historical Collections, #955 Augustus Washington Graham Papers; #1060-A Edward Vernon Howell Papers; #1900 Webb Family Papers; #2096 Richard Stanford Papers; #2205 Stephen Moore Papers.

Duke University, Perkins Library, Manuscript Collections, Stephen Moore Papers.

North Carolina State Archives, Richard Stanford Papers and Moore Family Papers.

University of South Carolina, South Caroliniana Library, Stephen Moore Papers.


History of North Carolina by John Wheeler Moore

by David Jeffreys, June, 2009
Doing a Google search this afternoon, I came across a book entitled History of North Carolina by John Wheeler Moore written in 1880. I recommend it for study of the era before the Revolutionary War, the war itself, and the antebellum period. Detailed accounts of battles such as the Battle of Camden and Guilford Courthouse as well as many others are included. Learn about many prominent individuals, especially General Gates, General Greene, and Lord Cornwallis. Our eminent elder, Stephen Moore, however is not included.

The author claims he was a relative of ours as he explains in a footnote in the book:

the government in their pardon. How have your actions contradicted your words? Out of twelve that were condemned the lives of six only were spared. Do you know Sir that your lenity on this occasion was less than that of the bloody Jeffreys in 1685? He condemned five hundred persons but saved the lives of two hundred and seventy."*
* NOTE.-- I adopt the suggestion of one for whose taste and judgment I entertain great respect in assuring the reader that no blood relationship exists between the author of this book and the Cape Fear Moores. My ancestors of that name came from Virginia and were related to Bishop Moore and Colonel Stephen Moore of Mt Tirzah. Judge Moore figured so largely and so much in accordance with what patriotism and propriety dictated, that my commendations have been but what was fairly due him and are in no wise the result of family vindication.

This book is in the public domain and was scanned from an original in the Harvard College Library.

If you would like a copy of this eBook, you may either read it online or download it in Adobe pdf format for your library at this link:



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Col. Moore of Caswell County, NC: Stephen or William?

Please see the comment on Stephen Moore Genealogy in which Terri O'Neill calls into question where General Nathaniel Greene camped. This is the article she wrote in the Moore / Stanford / Webb Chronicles in 1994. -- David Jeffreys

Col. Moore of Caswell County, NC:
Stephen or William?

In the course of studying Stephen Moore as he moved his family from New York to North Carolina and established himself as a planter, merchant and citizen active in local affairs, there have been several instances of a Col. Moore of Caswell County being mentioned, but it didn’t seem likely that it was Stephen Moore to whom the reference was made. Using many varied sources, it soon became apparent that there were several Moore families living in the area of Orange County that in 1777 became Caswell County, and that there were two men who later were referred to as Colonel Moore of Caswell. Some of the citations to events that were attributed to Stephen Moore are more likely to have occurred in the life of Col. William Moore.

Col. William Moore appears in the records of Caswell County from its formation in 1777. William S. Powell’s When the Past Refused to Die: History of Caswell County 1777-1977 lists six men by the name of Moore/More in the northern part of Orange County who signed a petition to Gov. Tryon in 1771 to form a new county: Arthur, James, John, George, Richard and William, and later records list Abram, Dempsey, Moses and Samuel Moore. The same book states that in 1777 William Moore served on a commission charged with finding and laying out the place where the court house, prison & stocks would be built, was appointed one of the first Justices of the County (as was Stephen Moore), and was chosen Clerk of the Court. In addition, William Moore was appointed as an overseer of certain roads, and was designated a Lt. Col. of the state militia. These offices closely parallel the offices and appointments of Stephen Moore. Examination of the tax lists and deed records helps to distinguish between the two men. William Moore’s land holdings were in the western part of the county, while Stephen Moore’s were in the south east corner of the county which was eventually incorporated into Person County in 1792. According to the Revolutionary War pension applications of several different men, William Moore was already an active Militiaman when Stephen Moore arrived in North Carolina in late 1775 or early 1776. The pension application of James Turner states that he served two tours of duty in 1776 under Col. William Moore, one of 2 months duration from April to June, the other from July to September. This second tour was an expedition against the Indians on the western NC frontier. James Turner’s third tour commenced 29 May 1780 under Col. Stephen Moore, and he then participated in the Battle of Camden.

The Battle of Camden, SC, occurred on 16 Aug 1780, and both Col. Stephen Moore and Col. William Moore were there with their respective North Carolina Militia units. The key fact is that Col. Stephen Moore was captured and sent to Charlestown as a prisoner of war, but Col. William Moore escaped capture and returned home. Col. Stephen Moore was not exchanged until the following June, 1781.

From various other pension applications, it is possible to determine that William Moore participated in many expeditions, skirmishes and battles of the war:
Apr 1776-J Turner’s application
Jul 1776-J Turner, J Ray
1778 or 9-Indian expedition-McBroom
Camden-Aug 1780-J Dollar, B Long, J Clayton
Pyle’s Defeat-Feb 1781-T Miles
Guilford CH-Mar 1781W McMenemy, A McBroome

There are three specific instances in which the records concerning “Col. Moore of Caswell” can be easily confused. Since all three are during or very near the time of Stephen Moore’s captivity, it is very likely that the three events refer to William Moore. According to North Carolina State Records, Vol. 19, p. 383, Stephen Moore served in the May 1780 session of the Assembly which took place in New Bern from April 17th to May 10th. Allowing for travel time, Stephen was surely back in Caswell county by May 20th at which time he was probably engaged in Militia activities. The pension declaration of James Turner states that by the end of May or beginning of June, their march toward Camden had begun. The battle took place on 16 August 1780. Again citing NC State Records, Vol. 14, p. 384, on the 21st of September 1780, the Board of War wrote to Gen. Butler, who had escaped capture at Camden: “Inclosed is a list of the Articles taken by Colonel Moore of Caswell, out of a Waggon belonging to this State, on its way here. [Hillsborough in Orange County] You will direct Colonel Moore to produce the Potts, Kettles, &c for the use of your Brigade; also to account for the Bar Iron. Two Hundred and Seventy Weight appears to be too large a Quantity for any use he could have; it is an Article much wanted by the public, and Colo. Moore ought to produce it.” William Moore had been at the Battle of Camden, too, but he also escaped capture. It was apparently he who took “Articles” out of the “Waggon” since Stephen Moore was on his way to, or already at Charlestown during this period of time.

The second event takes the form of a letter dated 26 February 1781, from Gen. Nathanael Greene written from “Headquarters, Col. Moore’s” in Caswell County to Col. Campbell. At this time, Stephen Moore was a prisoner in Charlestown, SC. The date of the letter is just prior to Greene’s engagement with Lord Cornwallis at Guilford Court House, 15 March 1781. Given the fact that Greene used Troublesome Creek in southern Rockingham County as a base of operations both before and after the Battle, and William Moore’s home was in the western part of Caswell County next to Rockingham County, while Stephen Moore’s home was in the southeast part of Caswell County, it is more likely that Greene was using William Moore’s place as his Headquarters when he wrote the letter.

The third item for consideration is taken from NC State Records, Vol. 15, p. 585: a letter from Maj. Reading Blount to Gen. Jethro Sumner dated 29th July 1781 says that “by Express from Col. Moore, Caswell County we are informed, that it’s thought in Virginia that the Enemy are about to embark for New York, occasioned by the arrival of a French Fleet at that place.” Stephen Moore had just been exchanged in June and according to his itinerary, he reached Tarboro on July 12th, 1781. William Moore’s movements during this time are only partially known. The early part of 1781 is well documented by pension applications. He had been wounded in February at an engagement called “Pyles’ Defeat”, and he had participated in the Battle of Guilford. After Guilford, Gen. Greene turned over pursuit of Cornwallis, who headed towards Wilmington, to the Militia, so it is possible that he was engaged in that activity. While it is uncertain what William Moore was doing while Stephen Moore was making his way back home, it seems unlikely that Stephen could have been reporting enemy troop movements and the sentiments of Virginians although it is possible that he picked up that intelligence on his journey home. William Moore is the more logical choice to have been the bearer of that news.

Eventually, William Moore moved to Smith Co., TN, and was living there in 1823, according to his own pension file. He was born about 1750, making him about 16 years younger than Stephen Moore.

Terri Bradshaw O’Neill, 1994 ©

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moore's Mill

by David Jeffreys - June, 2009 ©
Stephen Moore had a mill on the Flat River that had previously been named Gibbon's Mill. Mills were a common location for the surrounding community to come together for not only milling their corn and wheat, but to swap stories, get the news, and even advertise for their needs.
Traveling north on US 501 from Durham, you will cross the Eno River, where the West Point Mill is located. It is now a park -- West Point On the Eno, and after rebuilding the fallen mill on the old site, the mill is operational once again. More on this later. For more information on this mill visit: http://www.enoriver.org/eno/parks/WestPoint/westpoint.html and http://endangereddurham.blogspot.com/2009/02/mccown-mangum-house-west-point-mill.html

Travel further north, and you will cross the Little River Reservoir. The Eno, the Little, and the Flat Rivers combine to form the Neuse just to the east on the former plantation of the Bennehans (Stagville) and Camerons (Fairntosh). Stagville is now a NC State Historical Site, which you can visit.

Travel further north still until you come to Quail Roost on your left, turn right onto Moore's Mill Road. This road also runs north-south and parallels US 501. You will cross Red Mountain Road and continue north and pass into Person County where the road begins to parallel the Flat River and is subject to flooding when the Flat rises out of its banks. Then you will cross the river on a bridge, and the original Moore's Mill site is just to your left, but there are currently no remains. In 1976, the Durham Morning Herald did a wonderful article on the mills of Flat River with photos by Harold Moore. Here are copies of those photos.

Millard Thacker, a neighbor on the other side of the bridge, told me: "The old wheel was donated by a previous owner (Mark O'Neal) to the ENO RIVER/PARK HISTORICAL GROUP AND IS IN OPERATION AT THE ENO RIVER SITE ON HWY 501, JUST NORTH OF DURHAM." So that puts us back to the West Point on the Eno Park.
After crossing the bridge, you will begin climbing higher and higher, passing the mountain on which the fire tower is located, and then climbing higher still until you reach the Helena - Moriah Road. This junction is where it is believed that the original Moore Store and Mt. Tirzah post office were located. Turn right and then in a few yards turn left onto the Mt. Tirzah - Surl Road, and you will see the Mt. Tirzah United Methodist Church on your right. Continue climbing to the top of Mt. Tirzah. The Stephen Moore home built in 1778 will be on your right at the top, which now puts the large plantation in context. A mile or so to the east on the Helena - Moriah Road, you will cross Deep Creek, which ran through the eastern part of the Stephen Moore plantation. Deep Creek empties into the Flat River below the mill and near the Person County - Durham County line.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stephen Moore 1734 - 1799

Stephen Moore is certainly one of the favorite sons of Person County, North Carolina. He was awarded original land grants in the area, now known as Mount Tirzah, a name of Stephen Moore’s own choosing. He came to this high promontory and built his home in 1778, just prior to the Revolutionary campaigns in the southern theater of the war and became involved in the war himself, the only member of the large Moore family not to remain loyal to the crown.
Stephen Moore was very patriotic to the cause of the American independence and led a group of North Carolina militia to fight in the Battle of Camden (South Carolina) on August 16, 1780. It was a devastating defeat for Horatio Gates and the militia at the hands of Charles Cornwallis. Stephen Moore and 130 other men were taken prisoner to Charles Town. On May 18, 1781, from the prison ship Torbay in Charles Town Harbour, Stephen Moore wrote a letter to Major General Nathaniel Greene in which he said, “We just beg leave to observe that should it fall to the lot of all, or any of us to be made victims, agreeable to the menances therein contain’d, we have only to regret that our blood cannot be disposed of more to the advancement of the Glorious Cause to which we have adher’d.”
On February 26, 1781, several months earlier, General Nathaniel Greene had camped out at Col. Moore’s home, which was shortly before Greene met Cornwallis at Guilford Court House in the March battle. (see comment #2 below and the post: Col. Moore of Caswell County, NC: Stephen or William?)
In 1783, Stephen Moore petitioned the new government to buy his property at West Point in New York which Gen. George Washington had used during the Revolutionary War as his headquarters. There was already speculation that the government needed this land because of its strategic location on the Hudson River. In a letter in which Stephen Moore was trying to collect money from the now bankrupt U. S. he said, “Had my conduct during the struggles of my Country, proved me an active adversary, I must have silently bewailed the evils, both of banishment & confiscation, and tho I claim no merit for my feeble exertions in the hours of danger, neither can I be persuaded I deserve my present chastisement.”
In October 1783, Moore’s land at West Point was surveyed showing a total of 1617 acres. On a map from the National Archives can be seen the Red House (also known as Moore’s Folly) north of the bend in the river opposite Martler’s Rock. It was the Red House that was used both by the loyalist Moore Family to escape the trials of war in New York City and as headquarters of General Washington about the time of the treason of John Andre and Benedict Arnold. Finally on July 12, 1790, Henry Knox representing the U. S. government and Stephen Moore signed an agreement selling the West Point property to the government.
Stephen Moore had inherited the West Point property from his father, Col. John Moore. Known as Moore’s Folly, it had probably been named Moore’s Fawley, after the ancestral estate of South Fawley Manor in Berkshire County, England built in 1600 by Sir Francis Moore. [Note: There is now some doubt that Honorable John Moore was descended from Francis Moore at Fawley, but more likely from a Moore family in London. See footnote.] Stephen was the 17th child of the union of Col. John Moore (August 11, 1686 – October 29, 1749 and Frances Lambert (who died on March 21, 1782 in her ninetieth year) who were married in 1714.
Stephen Moore was born in New York City on October 30, 1734. In 1754 he was apprenticed to the Hon. John Watts, contractor for army supplies and a N.Y. merchant and member of his Majesty’s Council. Also in 1754, Stephen was commissioned in the N.Y. Regiment under Col. Oliver DeLancey. He volunteered for the French and Indian War in 1756, and the following year received a lieutenant’s commission in DeLancey’s Provincial Regiment. Then he was appointed provision contractor for the British Army. After the war he was rewarded the post of Deputy Paymaster General of Canada.
Stephen continued to live in Canada where he was a sea merchant (like his father before him) in Quebec. He was a member of “Burgess and Guild,” a sea merchant’s fraternal order in Glasgow, Scotland. As a sea merchant, he operated the Bonnie Lass and Bonnie Dundee which were routed between Glasgow, Scotland and Quebec with stops in Jamaica and Barbados. He entered the lumber trade with partner Hugh Finlay (the Postmaster of Quebec).
On Christmas Day, 1768, Stephen married Grizey Phillips (Feb. 18, 1748 – Jan. 15, 1822) and on Nov. 12, 1769, son John was born in Quebec. The infant John died the following year on Sept. 7, 1770. Stephen went bankrupt and left Canada in 1770 returning to N. Y.  Robert was born Nov. 5, 1762, before Stephen's marriage to Grizey and therefore, is the stepson of Grizey. (More information about Robert's birth is in another article on this blog.)
From 1765 to 1775, Stephen Moore’s official residence was listed on town reports of Cornwall, N. Y. (near West Point). Their son Phillips (born July 12, 1771) and daughter Frances (Dickens) (born Nov. 5, 1773) were born in New York. In 1775, Stephen moved his family to Tally-Ho in Granville County, N.C. where daughter Ann was born (Jan. 12, 1777). A fire in lower Manhattan, a consequence of the war, burned Trinity Church and the Moore home to the ground.

Stephen obtained in Mount Tirzah land in Jan. 1777 and built his home in 1778 (the date exists on a stone in the basement stairs), a beautiful structure on the Mount Tirzah hilltop. The home is believed to be the second oldest in Person County, with the original part of the Lea home being older. Stephen continued acquiring land until he had a plantation of approximately 3000 acres. His brother, Charles and his brother-in-law, Thomas Phillips, also moved to Mount Tirzah. Stephen petitioned the federal government for a post office at Mount Tirzah and was successful in having his brother, Charles, named postmaster.
Approximately a quarter mile to the south of his home, Stephen returned to merchandizing by building a store, which became an important place of trade, as he was the only merchant within a ten to twelve mile radius, prior to 1800. This country store was probably the local gathering spot for the latest news of the region and more distant places. In addition to buying and selling with the local farmers, Stephen dealt with more distant merchants such as Richard Bennehan at Stagville, N.C., and with merchants of the major trading and distribution point of the times in Petersburg, Virginia.
There was a road from Mount Tirzah to Raleigh which passed through the plantation of Richard Bennehan (later the immense and famous Cameron Plantation). At Stagville, Richard Bennehan’s home, this road bisected the old Indian Trading Path, which was the major north-south route of commerce of the times. The Indian Trading Path extended from Petersburg, Virginia, in the north to Salisbury, North Carolina, on the Yadkin River in the southwest.  (I-85 roughly follows the Indian Trading Path.)
Evidence from the Stephen Moore papers suggests that his brother-in-law, Thomas Phillips, and his son, Phillips Moore, participated in the day to day running of the store and keeping the day books and ledgers. Most of the ledger books were in the hands of Phillips Moore, and there is one entry that suggests that his uncle, Thomas, was not an able bookkeeper, which states as follows: “There are so many wrong entrys in the Ledger made by my Uncle Thos. Phillips, that the day book must be again posted or the accts. cannot be properly adjusted. 13th Jan. 1816. Phillips Moore (signed).”
The Mount Tirzah store made many daily transactions with the local farmers and with the merchants in Petersburg, and there are entries in the day books which keep a running account of amounts drawn and credited. In Petersburg on 8 February, 1797, Phillips Moore “Bought of Eleazer F. Backus” various sundry items such as pepper, allspice, needles, nutmegs, a fine comb, cloth, hammer, nails, awls, a lock, paper, calico material, scissors, coffee, chocolates, salt, sugar, a hat, a trunk, a wagon screw, and other items for which he paid £17.8.8.
Another transaction with Mr. Backus produced cotton, tea, sugar, paper, scissors, cloth, a blanket, 20 bushes of salt and linen for which he traded corn and pork. This last transaction took place on 23 December 1796, which makes one wonder if he made it home in time for Christmas as Petersburg was more than a hundred miles away on the old Indian Trading Path.
The Mount Tirzah store also rented for hire the employment of the Moore family slaves to the neighboring farmers to help with various farm work. There was considerable business done in potatoes, wheat, and corn. However, the Mount Tirzah store also dealt with a refined product of the grains, that of liquor as many references to brandy and rum would indicate.
Among his other business ventures was a mill which was formerly named Gibbon’s and pre-dates 1769. He also owned a brick kiln. So we see Stephen Moore as a diversified owner of several business interests of which he probably left the day-to-day management to various members of his family. This left him time for an active interest in the Revolutionary War and Politics.
Stephen’ son Marcus was born on Nov. 27, 1780 while he was being held prisoner in Charles Town. Stephen was finally released on June 22, 1781. He was appointed Commissioner for Specific Taxes in 1781 and superintendent Commissioner of Hillsborough District in 1782. On October 15, 1782 another son, Portius, was born.
From 1783 to 1792, Stephen was Deputy Quartermaster General of Army (under Col. Robert Burton, Quartermaster General of N.C.) which is where the title of “General” Stephen Moore comes from. Actually his highest rank was Lt. Col. In 1786 and 1787, he was nominated as representative to Congress, but was not elected.
Two more sons were born: Cadmus on June 30, 1787 and Samuel on June 15, 1789.
Even though Stephen successfully petitioned the bankrupt U.S. government to buy his West Point property in 1790, there is question as to whether he ever collected the 11,085 dollars.
On December 15, 1794, Sidney was born.
At the end of the century, on December 29, 1799, he died at Stagville at the home of Richard Bennehan. It is interesting to speculate why he was there when he died. Had he gone there during the festive season between Christmas and New Year’s and fallen suddenly ill? Was he there on business? Or perhaps Stephen was already ill and had gone to Stagville in search of a doctor since Stagville was a larger plantation than his own and may have had a doctor in residence.
Stephen Moore left quite an impact on Person County, through his activities politically, in the war, economically, and with the many descendants, some of which still live and own land in Person County.
Sources: This article was written by the great-great-great-great-grandson of Stephen Moore for the Person County History, vol. II. Sources include Duke University Archives; Southern Historical Collection, U.N.C.; N.C. State Archives; West Point Library; Miami Public Library (Genealogy Room); Person County Records; Mount Tirzah home and graveyard; and a bibliography of books and articles too numerous to mention.-- David E. Jeffreys, Jr. - written for the Person County Heritage, vol. II, 1983. © Updated May 2010.

Footnote: See "A Corrected Lineage of Hon. Moore of South Carolina and Pennsylvania" by Terri Bradshaw O'Neill (Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 44 (2005) pp. 101-121).