Moore was born on September 2, 1826, in Brockport, New York. After being orphaned prior to his first birthday, he was raised by his grandfather and grew up to graduate from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He then studied law under two firms in New York before being admitted to the New York bar in 1848.
He then made his way to New York where he practiced law and ran a plantation for two years before making his way to Weston, Missouri in 1850. Once again, he worked as an attorney and also became the editor for the Weston Reporter newspaper. After the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed in 1854, he relocated just across the Missouri River in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Though Leavenworth was filled with pro-slavery advocates, Moore became actively involved in the Free-State cause and in 1855 was a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention and later elected attorney general. In 1858 he served the people of Leavenworth as a member of the territorial legislature.
When the Civil War began he joined the Union army and first served as a judge advocate with the rank of lieutenant colonel on General James H. Lane’s staff. Afterward, he became an acting colonel in the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment, and later, a captain to the commissary of subsistence for Kansas.
When the war was over, Moore remained active in politics and in 1868 served as a house member in the state legislature. He was then elected for three consecutive terms as Leavenworth City Attorney.
He was killed in an accident involving a runaway horse on August 7, 1909.