George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Stephen Moore, 1 June 1790

From Stephen Moore

New York 1st June 1790

The Memorial and Petition of Stephen Moore of the State of North Carolina Humbly Sheweth

That, at a season when it is the wish of every friend to America not to break in upon your tranquility, your Memorialist finds himself under the painful necessity of intruding a few moments on your time.

That having devoted his constant efforts and a large proportion of his property in aiding & furnishing the Army acting in the southern department; And having endured the miseries of a tedious & painful captivity in the City & harbour of Charleston; with a number of other expensive casualties in this line, his fortune is become exceedingly impaired.

That having a numerous & growing family, looking to him for tuition & support through early life, he wishes by every virtuous endeavour to occupy himself, in such way, as that his labours may tend towards making his Children useful to the society of which they are to become members.

That your memorialist has his residence near Hillsborough, one of the most central towns in the State of North Carolina, and could with general convenience to the people of the State, and he hopes with due justice to the United States execute such office as he may be thought worthy of.

With this view your memorialist humbly prays that his case may be taken into your favourable consideration, And that he may receive such marks of your attention as in your goodness may seem right. And your memorialist as in duty bound will ever pray

Stephen Moore

ALS, DLC:GW.

Stephen Moore (1734-1799) was the son of a wealthy New York merchant, from whom he inherited 1,795 acres of land on which the fortifications at West Point were built (see Nathanael Greene to Col. Udny Hay, 25 Dec. 1779, in Showman, Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 5:208). Shortly before the Revolution he moved to Caswell County, N.C., where he established himself at his plantation Mt. Tirzah. During the war he served as a colonel in the militia and was captured at Charleston in May 1780 (see Moore to Nathanael Greene, 5 Dec. 1780, ibid., 6:528–29). Moore petitioned Congress in 1786 for compensation for the property at West Point, but Congress was unable to raise the money (Palmer, The River and the Rock, description begins Dave Richard Palmer. The River and the Rock: The History of Fortress West Point, 1775-1783. New York, 1969. description ends 355). On 4 May 1790 another petition from Moore seeking compensation was received by Congress (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 3:396). On 10 June Hamilton reported in favor of the purchase, which was authorized by the West Point Act, signed by GW on 5 July 1790. Moore received $ 11,085 for the entire property (DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 6:2059–62; see also Miller, “Owner of West Point,” description begins Agnes Miller. “Owner of West Point.” New York History 33 (1952): 303–12. description ends 303–312). Moore was recommended for a federal appointment by Timothy Bloodworth (see Bloodworth to GW, 7 Aug. 1790). He received no appointment from GW.

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