north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Essay:
      Maurice Moore was the son of James Moore (Governor of South Carolina, 1700-1703) and Margaret Berringer Moore of Berkeley County, South Carolina. Moore’s brother, Colonel James Moore, was sent to North Carolina in command of troops to suppress the Tuscarora Indians in 1712. Maurice Moore was a company captain in the militia force. The South Carolinians defeated the Tuscarora at Nooherooka on March 23, 1713, and prepared to march home. Moore, however, decided to remain in North Carolina, settling in the Albemarle region for about ten years. He returned to South Carolina in 1715, having been requested by the Governors of both Carolinas to take troops to assist South Carolinians in defeating the Yamassee. While passing through the Cape Fear region, Moore and his troops skirmished with the Waccamaw and Cape Fear Indians. His critical victory over the North Carolina tribes opened up the Cape Fear region for settlement by whites.

      In 1718 Maurice Moore and his brother-in-law Edward Moseley suspected Governor Charles Eden and Tobias Knight, Chief Justice of the Province, of collaborating with Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard the Pirate. The two broke into Knight’s office, removing public records in an attempt to prove their claim against the officials. Failing to find evidence, Moore and Moseley were tried and fined for their actions. Moore went on to a successful political career, being appointed to the Governor’s Council in 1723 and serving several terms in the General Assembly, representing Perquimans County in 1725 and, 1734 until his death, New Hanover County. Maurice Moore began to acquire lands in the Lower Cape Fear in 1725 and established the town of Brunswick in an effort to encourage settlement of the area. He built his home at a plantation he called “The Vats” in the Rocky Point section along the Northeastern branch of the Cape Fear River. Also along the river, Moore’s brother, “King” Roger Moore built Orton Plantation, the mansion of which still stands.

      Maurice Moore was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Lillington, daughter of Alexander Lillington and widow of Samuel Swann. The couple had four daughters. His second marriage was to Mary Porter, with whom he had one daughter and two sons. Moore died in 1743 in Edenton while raising troops to assist Georgia and South Carolina in fighting the Spanish.


References:
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, IV, 303-304—sketch by Lawrence F. London
Lawrence Lee, The Lower Cape Fear in Colonial Days (1965)
(Raleigh) Spectator, January 23, 1992
James Sprunt, Chronicles of the Cape Fear River, 1660-1916 (1916)
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