Creator: Unknown
Dates: Broadly, 1763 to 1926
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (Document Boxes P21 and P22)
Acquisition:  Accession #: unknown; Donated by: unknown
Identification: A13; Archive Collection #13
Citation: [Document Title]. The Joseph Moore Collection, [Box #, Folder #, Item #], Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.
Copyright: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language: English
Finding Aid:  Processed by Peter Brown, 2005.

View the collection here.


Family history holds that when the British sloop-of-war Falcon captured William Moore and his 12-year-old son Joseph (later “Master” Moore), Captain Lindsey tried to persuade William (as a British citizen) to help in navigating the coastal waters. William refused, claiming that he was an American. The British then placed him in a prison ship in New York harbor, where he died. At least it is certain that 12-year-old Joseph was put ashore in Magnolia and walked back to the family homestead. Joseph Moore was successful in expanding the original land holdings of his father while becoming a teacher of math and navigational aids.

His first marriage to Hannah Pulscifer ended with her death in 1811. His second marriage to Betsy Fellows of N.H. produced four sons and four daughters. One of the sons, Joseph Moore Jr. (1817-1844) became the father of Joseph A. Moore.

Joseph A. Moore had some early training in civil engineering. In July 1861, aged 17, he enlisted as a private in the union army. He was discharged in 1865, having reached the rank of Captain. Following his military service, he worked as a Civil Engineer in New York and as a surveyor for the Pacific Railroad.

He was appointed to the State Police in 1867, and then became City Marshall (Police Chief) of Gloucester in 1876. Following a dispute with the Mayor over houses of “Ill-repute” he resigned in 1885. At that point he again joined the state police as a detective and later as an inspector of public buildings. He and his wife lived in Roslindale while renting out the family property in Gloucester.


Although not every document in this collection can be definitively classified without some degree of overlap, the papers deal mainly with three topics: 1) Gloucester Schoolmaster Joseph Moore and his family; 2) Moore’s large estate along the Gloucester/Magnolia coast; 3) Moore’s grandson, Joseph Moore III

The papers were presented to this Association en masse in no particular order. At some time an undetermined person took a large group pf the papers (possibly the contents of one box or folder), numbered them IN INK apparently just as they were found, and typed lists of their contents in groups of ten corresponding with the assigned numbers. There is no logic in this numbering system either chronological or by subject matter. This has made the organization of the remaining papers extremely difficult as many of them should have been interwoven with the numbered ones.



The documents and letters cover the period of “Master” Joseph Moore (1763-1845) and his grandson Joseph A. Moore (1844-1926). Joseph Moore Jr., the son of Master Moore and father of Joseph A. Moore, was born in 1817 and died three days after his son was born. The earliest documents cover Master Moore’s land acquisitions, his teaching career and the settlement of his estate. The bulk of the documents cover the career of Joseph A. Moore during the Civil War and his later career in the civil service.


Series I: Box 1

Master Joseph Moore – Genealogy and personal papers [first half]

Series II: Box 2

Master Joseph Moore – Genealogy and personal papers [second half]

The Moore Estate – including other families (Doliver, Grover, Friend)

Series III: Box 3

Joseph Moore III b. 1844


Series I: Box P21

Folder 1: Biographic material.

Folder 2: Civil War papers - / Documents 1864.

Folder 3: Civil War papers 1864/ Documents.

Folder 4: Muster Rolls (Company B – 17th Reg. Mass Vol., Joseph Moore commanding.

Folder 5: Civil War papers 1861-6.

Folder 6: Moore – patent papers.

Folder 7: Stock certificates

Folder 8: Civil Service papers/Appointments

Folder 9: Commissions

Folder 10: Envelopes

Series II: Box P22

Folder 1: Moore Genealogy

Folder 2: Moore Genealogy

Folder 3: Moore Genealogy

Folder 4: Sale of land to Master Moore

Folder 5: Master Moore – Navigation Improved – 3 copies; personal papers

Folder 6: Master Moore – bills & receipts

Folder 7: Master Moore – tax bills

Folder 8: Moore family correspondence re: settlement of estate

Folder 9: Estate of Master Moore, re: rentals

Folder 10: Misc. papers re: estate of Joseph Moore (1844-1889)

Folder 11: Master Moore estate (papers re: family settlements)

Folder 12: Papers re: estate of Joseph Moore

Folder 13: Discharge papers – Joseph Moore 1865

Folder 14: Estate of Master Moore – maps

Folder 15: Photo – Master Moore; Joseph A. Moore

Folder 16: Letters from Eliza Moore to Judith Moore 1836-1840.