Sunday, May 23, 2010


Documented events from his birth
To his move to North Carolina
Compiled by Terri Bradshaw O’Neill

Stephen Moore was the 17th of 18 children born to Col. John Moore of New York City, and his wife, Frances (Lambert) Moore. There were three sets of twins, all males, and only one twin of two sets survived: Thomas, and Lambert.

  • 19 Oct 1734-STEPHEN MOORE born, NYC. [Source: Moore Family Bible. This Bible is located in the Webb Papers, #1900, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, hereafter SHC-UNC. The Bible bears Stephen Moore’s bookplate but was published by Mathew Carey, Philadelphia in 1802, 3 years after Stephen’s death. Most of the handwriting is Mary (Moore) Stanford's and Cornelia Webb's, with a few entries in an unknown hand.]
  • c. Jan 1738/9-sister ANN born, last of siblings. [Source: Letter- from Ann Moore, dated Throg’s Neck, Jan. 1808 to Mary (Moore) Stanford, located in the Stanford Papers, #2096, SHC-UNC.]
  • 29 Oct 1749-father JOHN MOORE died, Stephen inherited WEST POINT, age 15. [Source: Will of John Moore, NY Wills, Liber 17, p. 44, dated 4 Sep 1748, proved 9 Nov 1749.]
  • c. 1750-1-Stephen MOORE “brought up in business” or apprenticed to the Hon. John WATTS of NYC. [Source: Moore, John Memoirs of an American Official in Service of the King, p. 36, from the Journal of American History, Vol. 4, #1:36-8 1910, hereafter MAOSK. It is perhaps during his apprenticeship with John Watts that Stephen began his work as a scribe or clerk in the Secretary of the Province’s office transcribing deeds and other documents into the registers.]
  • 14 DEC 1753-Stephen MOORE served as witness to a very complicated indenture or deed involving descendants of Stephen van Cortlandt. [Source: New York Deeds-Secretary of State, Vol. 16:289-96, FHL film #0945273.]
  • 1757-commissioned LT. in NY Regiment. [Source: DeLancey, Edward F. Muster Rolls of New York Provincial Troops 1755-64, p.539]
  • 1758-expedition against Ft. Stanwix. [Source: Moore, John MAOSK.]
  • 1759-probably with Col. John BRADSTREET & Sir Jeffrey AMHERST in expeditions against Ticonderoga and Crown Point [Source: MAOSK]
  • c. 1760-appointed Deputy Paymaster General for the British Army of Canada. [Source: MAOSK]
  • c. 1761-formed partnership in Quebec with Hugh FINLAY. Firm of Moore & Finlay in business until c. 1769. [Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol.5, p.314-Biographical sketch of Hugh Finlay. While a General Merchandise store went out of business in May 1765, it appears from Court records that the partnership stayed intact until about 1769 as a Shipping business.]
  • 21 Aug 1762-godfather along with his brother-in-law, John SMITH to nephew Richard Channing MOORE, who later became Bishop of Virginia. [Source: John Moore’s memoirs, “Leisure Hours Employment”, p. 32, at NYHS Library]
  • 5 Nov 1762-son ROBERT born, location unknown. [Source: Biographical sketch of Robert Moore says that he was the only child of Stephen Moore and Julia, an actress. The sketch was made in preparation for a Moore family reunion held at Mt. Tirzah, 3 Oct 1925, and was found in the A W Graham Papers, Series 2.8, Moore family folder #257, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wilson Library, Southern Historical Collection.]
  • c. Jan 1763-Stephen in Montreal. [Source: Letter-dated 1 Jan 1769, New York, to S. Moore at Quebec, from the Gratz Collection, Historical Society of PA, hereafter HSP.]
  • •c. Feb 1763-Stephen’s feat of taking dispatches from GEN. HALDIMAND in Quebec to SIR Jeffrey AMHERST at NYC, in 10 days. [Source: MAOSK, p. 36-7. Agnes Miller's article, Owner of West Point, speculates that he carried a letter from Haldimand to Amherst, dated 12 Feb 1763]
  • 30 Apr 1763-first known letter from sister REBECCA MOORE, direction unknown. [Source: South Caroliniana Library, Stephen Moore papers, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, hereafter SC Lib.]
  • 24 Nov 1763-Stephen in London; first known letter of sister, FRANCES (MOORE) BAYARD. [Source: SC Lib. Frances' son, Samuel Bayard, Jr. is with Stephen.]
  • 13 Dec 1764 Stephen mentioned as Paymaster to the Regiment, in a letter from John WATTS to Sir Wm. Baker. [Source: Collections of the New-York Historical Society, 1928, Vol. LXI:316, The Letter Book of John Watts]
  • 10 Jan 1765-Stephen and his brother THOMAS both recommended as a replacement for Mr. Marsh, Clerk of Albany & Secretary to Indian Affairs, who had died. [Source: Collections of the New-York Historical Society, 1928, Vol. LXI:319-20, The Letter Book of John Watts]
  • 27 Sep 1766-signs an address and welcome to new Gov. of Province of Quebec with 46 other Merchants & Traders. [Source: Quebec Gazette, 29 Sep 1766]
  • 8 Aug 1768-letter of Rebecca MOORE directed to Stephen at Quebec. [Source: SC Lib. Frances' son, Nicholas Bayard with Stephen.]
  • 21 Dec 1768-Stephen settled the WEST POINT property on GRIZEY PHILLIPS as a marriage gift. [Source: Recorded in Papers of the Continental Congress, Roll 24, item 60, p. 441, 24 May 1784. This instrument is not recorded in Orange Co., NY, Deeds, and is in the handwriting of Stephen Moore.]
  • 25 Dec 1768-Stephen married to Grizey PHILLIPS of Boston, at Quebec. [Source: Moore Family Bible]
  • c. 1769-Stephen’s business partner, HUGH FINLAY, married Grizey’s sister, MARY PHILLIPS. [Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography]
  • 12 May 1769-letter from Frances BAYARD to Stephen, congratulating him on his marriage. [Source: SC Lib. Frances' son, Nick still in Quebec]
  • 28 Sep 1769-Stephen’s reply to Frances' letter, written from Quebec. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 7 Oct 1769-letter from Rebecca MOORE to Stephen at Quebec. [Source: SC Lib. Sam Bayard mentioned as still in Quebec]
  • 12 Nov 1769- son JOHN born. [Source: Moore Family Bible. The Bible lists John's birth and death in Mary Moore Stanford's handwriting.]
  • 10 Apr 1770-Stephen signs petition protesting an Ordinance to forgive debtors in Quebec. [Source: Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783, vol. 1 & 2; K.G. Davies. Apparently, Gov. Guy Carlton of the Province of Quebec, in an effort to curb abuses of Justices in the Province against debtors, forgave all debtors with this Ordinance. Court documents show that Stephen took several people to Court in order to collect outstanding debts owed to the firm of Moore & Finlay. The Ordinance may have led to the final demise of Moore & Finlay's business interests, and led to Stephen's departure from Quebec.]
  • 5 May 1770-letter of Frances BAYARD to Stephen, undirected, but still presumably at Quebec. [Source: SC Lib. Mentions both Samuel & Nick Bayard]
  • 7 Jun 1770-letter of Rebecca MOORE to Stephen, same as above. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 7 Sep 1770-son JOHN died. Note: It is unknown whether son JOHN died before, during or after the move from Quebec. However, it seems likely that his death occurred during the move. [Source: Moore Family Bible]
  • 20 Sep 1770-letter from ANNE PAYSON, Grizey's sister, directed to MRS. GRIZEY MOORE at NEW YORKE. [Source: SHC-UNC, Howell Papers, #1060 A]
  • 20 Nov 1770-letter of Rebecca MOORE to Stephen, undirected, mentions "that agreeable wild" and "your improving of it." [Source: SC Lib. This letter indicates that Stephen is now in the West Point area.]
  • 14 Dec 1770-letter of sister, ANN MOORE, directed to MRS. STEPHEN MOORE at WEST GROVE in ORANGE. [Source: SHC-UNC, Howell Papers, #1060. West Grove was a community near West Point in Orange Co., NY.]
  • 27 Dec 1770-Stephen receives letter from E LEVY, NYC dated 18 Nov 1770; Stephen endorses letter “ans. at Peekskill.” [Source: David Library, Burr Papers-Chancery Court Case Stephen Moore v. Eleazor Levy, 1789, Exhibit A]
  • 14 Jul 1771-son PHILLIPS born in NY. [Source: Moore Family Bible]
  • 10 Sep 1771-letter of Rebecca MOORE, directed to MR. STEPHEN MOORE at WESTGROVE. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 21 Mar 1772-letter of Rebecca, mentions WEST GROVE. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 5 Jul 1772-petition of Stephen MOORE & 30 others, including brother THOMAS MOORE and nephew JOHN MOORE, for 1,000 acres of vacant land each on the Great River Chazey, nine miles distant from the West Branch of Lake Champlain. [Source: NY State Archives-Land Papers, Vol. 32, p. 28]
  • 7 Aug 1772-letter of Rebecca MOORE, mentions "that shell of a house you propose going into", possibly referring to the Red House. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 1 Sep 1772-MORTGAGE recorded between Stephen MOORE and ELEAZOR LEVY of NYC, dated 29 May 1772, on 1080 acre tract at West Point for £1000 with lawful interest. [Source: Orange County, NY, Mortgage Book A, p.134]
  • 4 Oct 1772-letter of Rebecca MOORE, directed to MR. STEPHEN MOORE at West Grove. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 5 Nov 1772-letter of Rebecca MOORE, undirected, mentions "you're moved & hope you'll find the House comfortable", probably meaning the Red House at West Point. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 24 Nov 1772-petition granted for land on Lake Champlain to Stephen MOORE and 30 others. [Source: NY Calendar of Council Minutes,1668-1783, p.568]
  • 13 Dec 1772-letter of Rebecca MOORE, undirected, wishing Stephen and family a Happy Christmas. [Source: SC Lib. ]
  • Apr 1773-Stephen appointed Overseer of Dist. 34, Path Master. [Source: Cornwall (NY) Town Minutes, p. 23]
  • 5 Nov 1773-daughter FRANCES born at West Point. [Source: Moore Family Bible]
  • 12 Feb 1774-letter of Stephen to Grizey. He is apparently on a trip to Canada or the Lake Champlain area. [Source: SHC-UNC, Howell Papers #1060]
  • APR 1774-Stephen appointed Overseer, Path Master, Dist. 34. [Source: Cornwall Town Minutes, p. 25]
  • 10 MAY 1775-letter of Rebecca MOORE directed to MR. STEPHEN MOORE at WEST POINT. This is the first and only letter bearing that address. [Source: SC Lib.]

Sometime between the date of this last recorded letter and Sept of 1776, the date of the next known letter of Stephen Moore, he had moved his family to North Carolina, first settling in Granville County, and then acquiring land and establishing himself in Orange and Caswell Counties, which finally became Person County.

Documented events from his arrival

in NC until the Battle of Camden

  • April 1776-Stephen's brother, Thomas MOORE and his family, living in the Red House at West Point, are joined there by Thomas' son, John MOORE and his family. Another brother, Charles is living in the "second house" at West Point. [Source: John Moore, Esq., Leisure Hours Employment, (typescript) New-York Historical Society Library, CS71.M821, #25, hereafter JMM]
  • 18 Sep 1776-Stephen MOORE, in Philadelphia, writes to wife Grizey in NC, relating family news and events of the times. Note: This letter clearly states Stephen’s position and views on the War: “The fate of my poor native bleeding country racks me, the force against [page torn] seems formidable, but I hope Heaven’s mighty arm will still be advanc’d in its favour. The King’s forces are in possession of the City of NYork, as well as the whole of Staten & Long Islands. Our chief stand is at King’s Bridge 6 miles from the City.” [Source: Stephen Moore Papers, Caroliniana Library, University of SC]
  • 21 Sep 1776-The Moore mansion called White Hall, Trinity Church, and most of lower Manhattan burned in NYC. Loyalists blamed the Americans for the conflagration as they were vacating the city; Americans blamed the British for starting it. [Source: JMM]
  • 17 Oct 1776-Stephen, having been to West Point and now returning to NC, rides as far as Hackensack Bridge with nephew, John MOORE, who was returning to his duties in the Customs House in NYC after the British had retaken the City. [Source: John Moore, Memoirs of an American Official In Service of the King, p. 43]
  • 4 Jan 1777-Stephen MOORE, of Granville Co., purchases 265 acres in Orange Co. adjoining the line of James BLAKELY, from Arthur and Elizabeth MOORE of Orange Co., part of a tract of 350 acres originally granted to John Allen THARP. [Source: Katherine K. Kendall, Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817, p. 5 (Deed Book A, p. 81)]
  • 12 Jan 1777-daughter ANN born. [Source: Moore/Stanford Family Bible, Webb Papers #1060, Wilson Library Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill, hereafter SHC]
  • 27 Mar 1777-Stephen MOORE, of Orange Co., purchases 70 acres on Deep Creek of Flat River adjoining the line of James BLAKELY, from James DICKENS, part of a tract originally granted to John Allen THARP. Note: Though the deed says 70 acres, the metes & bounds describes a tract of 145 acres, as Steve Moore discovered when he transcribed and platted all the Stephen Moore property deeds in 2009. [Source: Stephen Moore Papers, Manuscript Section, Perkins Library, Duke University.]
  • Apr 1777-Charles MOORE appointed Overseer, Dist #34, Stephen's former position in Orange County, NY. [Source: Cornwall (NY) Town Minutes, p. 31]
  • 1 Jun 1777-Caswell County formed from Orange County. 
  • Jun 1777-Stephen MOORE appointed Justice of the County by Gov. CASWELL.  [Source: Wm. S Powell, When the Past Refused to Die, History of Caswell County, 1777-1977, (Durham, 1971) p.61]
  • 29 Jul 1777-S. B. WEBB, a soldier at Ft. Constitution, across the Hudson from the Red House records in his journal an account of crossing to Mr. Moore's and spending the afternoon with Nancy (Ann) MOORE and the two Misses ROBINSON. Note: This would be Ann, the daughter of Thomas, who married American BGen. Jedediah Huntington the next month. [Source: Notes of Merle Sheffield at USMA, Spec. Coll.; Webb's Journal at Yale Univ.]
  • Dec 1777-SM appears on Caswell Co. Tax list in St. David's Dist., his taxables valued at £1235 [Source: Journal of North Carolina Genealogy, v. 20, p. 2908]
  • Dec 1777-John MOORE, Stephen's nephew, having resumed his duties in NYC, retrieves his family from West Point and arrives back in NYC on Christmas day. [Source: JMM]
  • 1778-The house at Mt. Tirzah is built. A stone in the basement bears the year of its construction.
  • 20 Jan 1778-American soldiers of Gen. Parson's Brigade under Gen. Putnam occupy West Point and begin fortifications there. [Source: Gen. David R. Palmer, The River and the Rock: A History of Fortress West Point, p. 141]
  • 10 Feb 1778-Charles MOORE, apparently occupying the Red House, writes to Gov. George CLINTON requesting the use of ROBINSON's farm across the river, as Gen. PUTNAM has appropriated the Red House for Headquarters. Note: Charles Moore was not granted Robinson's house, and was treated with a fair amount of suspicion by Gen. Parsons, who took command of West Point 14 Feb 1778. Parsons asked that Charles and his family be removed and referred to them as Tories, though Charles in his letter to Gov. Clinton, refers to the theft of his livestock by "Sailors belonging to the enemy". Charles' loyalties are far from clear from the available information. Most of his family was absolutely Loyalist, with the exception of Stephen and his niece, Ann, wife of Gen. Jedediah Huntington. Most likely, Charles tried to remain neutral and maintain a low profile until he could get compensation for being put off the property. He was living in Peekskill when he wrote another letter to Gov. Clinton asking to receive household goods and clothing sent under a flag of truce from his brother Thomas in Dec. 1779. Peekskill is where his wife's family was from and nothing is known of their loyalties. He applied for relief from the NY Legislature in 1782, but though a committee was appointed, no report was made. However, in 1784, Charles made a last ditch effort to obtain some compensation by writing a memorial to the New York State Legislature. In this memorial, he states unequivocally, “That your Memorialist hath ever taken a decided part in favour of America throughout the late war.” [Source: State of New York, Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, Vol. II, p. 740]
  • 21 Sep 1778-daughter Mary born at Mt. Tirzah. [Source: Moore/Stanford Family Bible, SHC]
  • 21 Jul-28 - Nov 1779-Gen. WASHINGTON uses Red House at West Point as his headquarters. [Source: John C. Fitzpatrick, Ed. The Writings of George Washington from Original Manuscript Sources, Vol. 16]
  • 26 Aug 1779-Eleazor LEVY petitions the Continental Congress for protection of his interest in West Point as a mortgage holder on the property. [Source: Papers of the Continental Congress, M-247, r54, i43, v4, p208]
  • 11 Dec 1779-Stephen is in Philadelphia where Congress is sitting when he makes his first memorial to that body in an attempt to be compensated for the loss of income from his property as well as damages done to the property. Note: It is interesting to speculate here whether Stephen had been to see the condition of his property, or even if he would have been allowed on the Post, prior to presenting his Memorial to Congress. If so, would he have had occasion to meet with Gen. Washington, who was still at West Point two weeks prior to the date of Stephen's letter? Nothing in Washington's papers suggests such a meeting. A deposition submitted to Congress indicates that Stephen had been in the vicinity of West Point gathering testimony to support his damage claims. (See 13 Jan 1780) Would Stephen have conferred with the mortgage-holder, Eleazor Levy, who was also in Philadelphia? Did he have any contact with his many relations in Philadelphia? A letter that Stephen wrote while a prisoner in SC, to his cousin, Thomas William Moore, states that he "was at Moore Hall last winter", so he was definitely in contact with his Uncle William Moore of Moore Hall. William Moore was a well-known Tory, but Moore Hall was occupied for a time in 1778 by a committee sent by Congress to investigate conditions in the Army and make recommendations for improvements. The committee was made up of Francis DANA, Joseph REED, Nathaniel FOLSOM, Col. Timothy PICKERING, John HARVIE, and Governour MORRIS. Gen. WASHINGTON rode the 2 1/2 miles from the Valley Forge encampment each day to testify before the committee. Also, Col. Clement BIDDLE, Forage Master General was quartered there. William Moore petitioned Congress for compensation for his many grievous losses at the hands of the Continental Army. William Moore's daughter, Williamina BOND, after the deaths of her parents, also filed a claim with the British government and was granted lands in Nova Scotia as compensation. [Sources: Papers of the Continental Congress, M-247, r51, i47, v6, pp151-2 & Edward Pinkowski, Washington's Officers Slept Here, Historic Homes of Valley Forge and Its Neighborhood, Sunshine Press, Philadelphia, 1953]
  • 14 Dec 1779-Stephen's Memorial is read before Congress (at Philadelphia) and it is referred to a committee. Note: Thus begins Stephen Moore's 11 year odyssey of trying to collect compensation from the fledgling (and financially struggling) government for the loss of his property and the damages done to the natural resources thereon, that finally culminated in the sale of West Point to the government in 1790. By the terms of his father's will, Stephen was obligated to supply his mother with firewood for the rest of her life, and that firewood came from West Point. The felling of much of the timber on the property was one of Stephen's great concerns, but the Army needed to supply itself with firewood as well as timber for fortifications and huts for the troops. Most of Stephen's fences and even some of the outbuildings were taken down to supply the Army, and of course his hay was used for forage. The government was sympathetic to Stephen's position, and there was never any doubt that he was entitled to compensation, but there was not much money in the coffers. Stephen soon realized that to expedite matters, he must do much of the legwork himself and he set about it by making many trips to New York, Philadelphia and wherever else those who could help him were located. Stephen gathered much of the initial testimony regarding his losses himself, and many of the documents submitted to Congress are in Stephen's handwriting with the signatures of the various testators affixed. In the process of pursuing his claim, he made the acquaintance of Gen. Nathanael GREENE, who was Quartermaster General at the time. On 13 Jan 1781, Gen. Greene wrote to Stephen (while Stephen was a prisoner of war) acknowledging receipt of his letter and promising immediate relief for the Militia prisoners in SC as soon as an exchange could be effected. On 26 Feb 1781, Gen. Greene wrote a letter from "Headquarters, Col. Moore's" in Caswell County to a Col. Campbell. This was just before Greene's engagement at Guilford Court House with Lord Cornwallis. Most likely, the “headquarters” was at the residence of Col. William Moore of Caswell, rather than Stephen Moore.
  • 25 Dec 1779-Stephen at Morristown, NJ, collecting a letter from Gen. Nathanael GREENE to be presented to Col. Udny HAY, Greene’s Deputy Quartermaster General, asking him to make an estimate of the value of the wood taken at West Point “for public use.” [Source: Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r27, p107]
  • 2 Jan 1780-Col. Hay appoints Maj. Thos. WICKES, Joshua NELSON & William van WYCK to estimate Stephen’s losses at West Point; these men wrote to Stephen on 10 Jan 1780, that due to “exceeding severe” weather and snow so deep on the ground, they could not make their assessments. [Source: Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r27, p109; p111]
  • 13 Jan 1780-Deposition in Stephen Moore’s handwriting testifying to the losses of timber, fence posts & rails and hay cut. Those sworn to testify were Charles Moore, Stephen’s brother, Cornelius SWEM, Nathan JUNE, Justus NELSON, James NELSON and Reuben BUNN before MGen. William HEATH at Robinson’s House in the Highlands. Note: Robinson’s House was on the east side of the Hudson River, opposite West Point; it would be made infamous 8 months later as the place from which Benedict ARNOLD made his escape as his treachery was discovered. [Source: Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r27, p113-4]
  • 14 Jan 1780-An order for Capt. Jotham WRIGHT to inspect the buildings that were on the West Point property “immediately before the Publick works were there commenced in the winter 1778 & make report of the same in a descriptive manner as near as may be.” The order and report are in Stephen Moore’s handwriting, with Capt. Wright’s signature affixed, and sworn before BGen. John PATERSON. Note: During this time that Stephen Moore spent in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York pressing his claim for compensation for damages, he came in contact with a great many of the political and military men determined to shape and mold a new government apart from Britain. Up until this point, Stephen had not been involved in the struggle, but it seems likely that this was the time he made the decision to join the cause of Independence. Upon his return to North Carolina, Stephen became fully involved. [Source: Papers of the Continental Congress, M247, r27, p117]
  • 9 Feb 1780-Letter written to Samuel BAYARD, Jr., Secretary of the Province of New York, and Stephen’s nephew, referring to the mortgage on West Point which Samuel had witnessed. The response to Stephen’s letter was dated 21 Sep 1780 (during Stephen’s captivity) and did not reach Stephen until July, 1781, after his exchange. [Source: SC Lib.]
  • 1780-sometime early in this year, probably March, Stephen became a Lt. Col. of a Militia unit, the Second Regiment of Militia under Col. Ambrose RAMSAY. [Source: Order (undated) written by Stephen Moore and submitted as proof of service in the Revolutionary War Pension Application of William Ray, Sr. M 804, Roll 2006, Pension Records, National Archives and Records Administration, Ft. Worth Branch]
  • 17 Apr-10 May 1780-Stephen Moore serves as a Representative from Caswell County to the NC House of Commons. [Source: John L. Cheney, Jr., Ed. North Carolina Government 1585-1974, North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State]
  • Mid-May 1780-Col. Moore and his troops begin their southward march toward SC, going through Pittsboro, Cross Creek (Fayetteville) and on towards Camden, SC, joining Gen. Richard CASWELL and Gen. Horatio GATES.
  • 12 May 1780-American troops under Gen. LINCOLN at Charleston surrender to the British. Virtually the entire NC Continental Line were surrendered and taken prisoner.
  • 16 Aug 1780-Battle of Camden, commonly referred to by the soldiers as "Gates' Defeat", Stephen Moore was taken prisoner.  

to be continued...

1 comment:

David Jeffreys said...

Updated - part 2 of chronology added 10 January 2011.