The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        Mr. Moore was the outspoken and fearless friend of the union, and the bitter opponent of the doctrine of secession. These opinions he expressed openly, under all circumstances. Many differed from him in these views, but all respected his sentiments for they believed in the purity of his convictions.

        Immediately after the war closed, Mr. Moore, with Governor Swain and William Eaton were invited by the president to Washington for conference and consultation as to the best mode of restoring North Carolina to the union.*

        * See sketch of Governor Swain, p. 59

        No Roman tribune stood forth more fearless and bold, than did Mr. Moore on this occasion, for the rights of the people and the citizen. His sagacious advice, had it been followed by Mr. Johnson, would have saved much anxiety and suffering to the country; but it was unheeded. Mr. Moore subsequently in (1867,) when negro suffrage was forced on the South strongly opposed it, and he predicted the very calamities of which its friends now complain, and suffer. He also opposed the military rule imposed by congress on the south, maintaining that the people ought to be allowed to choose their own rulers, and be governed by their own laws, not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States.

        Profound as was Mr. Moore's reverence of the law, and his respect for its ministrations, his spirit of justice and the instinct of his nature opposed any official interference of the bench with popular rights.

        On the enforcement of the Canby constitution, which, by "general orders from these headquarters," set up governors and judges, appointed members of the legislature, and displaced others, duly elected, in defiance of popular will, political excitement throughout the state was intense. The judges of the supreme court openly took part in the canvass. It was against such participation that Mr. Moore took a bold stand. He drew up a protest signed by many prominent members of the bar throughout the state, which was the foundation of the notorious "contempt proceedings," in 1869. The ermine of the highest legal tribunal in the state received a stain from which that court, as it then existed, never recovered.

        Although Mr. Moore held no official position, for he never sought it; yet, from his long and eventful life, his opinion had much weight and it needed no official place to give his opinions power with the people of North Carolina. His ability, his acquirements, his unblemished reputation and the candor of his conduct, his fearless courage in declaring and maintaining his opinions, gave him a strong hold on the confidence and regard of his country.

        The state may well place him high on her roll of illustrious dead, as he was for a long while one of her purest patriots.

        Mr. Moore was the devoted friend of education. In his will he bequeathed five thousand dollars to the university, one thousand dollars to the Oxford orphan asylum, and the same sum to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina. His devotion to the union is eloquently expressed in his will, for

        "E'en in his ashes lived their wonted fires,"

        his will speaks thus:

        "I had been taught under deep conviction of my judgement that there could be no reliable liberty for my state, without the union of the states; and being devoted to my state, I felt that I should desert her whenever I should aid to destroy the union. I could not imagine a more terrible spectacle than that of beholding the sun shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of states, dissevered, discordant and belligerent, and a land rent with civil feuds and drenched in fraternal blood.

        "I was truly happy when I saw the sun of peace rising with the glorious promise to shine once more on states equal, free, honored and
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