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.
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).