Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 800.51

Jacob Bailey Moore papers


Correspondence, manuscripts, journals, notes, and reseach materials of American journalist, printer, and historian, Jacob Bailey Moore.


  • Creation: 1811-1851

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


3 linear feet (6 boxes)

Contains papers by Moore: correspondence; diaries, maps, journals, lists, and notes; and material collected by Moore for his historical research. The correspondence, mostly incoming, concerns New Hampshire history and national politics, newspapers, the postal system, and other matters. Also includes a volume of letters between Richard Bartlett, another founder of the New Hampshire Historical Society, and John Farmer (1789-1838) and others. Manuscripts include three commonplace book volumes entitled "Miscellanies; poetical, political, historical and nonsensical, published and unpublished by Moore"; "Annals of Concord"; a revision and updating of Belknap's "History of New Hampshire"; volumes Moore compiled on newspapers, periodicals and printers in New Hampshire, and publications by New Hampshire residents; a "Waste Book" of the New Hampshire Journal office; newspaper articles; and lectures. Also contains clippings on the history of newspapers in N.H. and copies by Moore of 17th-century documents.

Biographical / Historical

Moore was the son of physician Jacob Bailey Moore (1771-1813) and Mary Eaton Moore. Their ancestor, Jonathan Moore, had settled in Exeter, New Hampshire by 1650. By 1813 Moore had apprenticed himself to Isaac Hill, the owner and editor of the New Hampshire Patriot at Concord. He became Hill's partner in 1819 and in 1820 he married Hill's sister, Mary Adams Hill Moore.

By 1823 the political differences between Hill and Moore caused them to dissolve the partnership, but he continued on with printing, publishing and bookselling. Moore was one of the founders of the New Hampshire Historical Society and he issued the first of three volumes of the Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society (1824-1832). Moore held the position of Librarian of the NHHS from 1823-1830 and again from 1837-1839. In 1826 he published the first issue of the New Hampshire Journal, which he edited until 1829. This paper supported John Quincy Adams for a second term to the U.S. presidency, while his brother-in-law, Isaac Hill, supported Andrew Jackson in the New Hampshire Patriot. Moore was elected in 1828 to the New Hampshire Assembly, but resigned soon after election. He also served as sheriff of Merrimack County, New Hampshire, from 1828-1833.

Moore suffered from the downfall of the Adams party in New Hampshire and the bitter differences of politics with his brother-in-law, Hill, who in 1836 became governor of New Hampshire. Financial difficulties forced Moore into bankruptcy and he withdrew from public life. He moved to New York City in 1839 and edited the New York Daily Whig until 1840. From 1841-1845 he served as chief clerk in the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C. and for a short time served as inspector of the Post Office in New Hampshire. In 1848 he became librarian of the New York Historical Society where his son was acting librarian, but he resigned in 1849 to assist with the establishment of the Post Office in California and became deputy postmaster at San Francisco in 1850. By 1853 he had returned East and died in his brother's home (John Weeks Moore) in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

Some of Moore's more prominent works were:

  1. A Topographical and Historical Sketch of the Town of Andover . . . New Hampshire (1822);
  2. A Gazetteer of the State of New Hampshire (1823), in collaboration with John Farmer [q.v.];
  3. Collections, Historical and Miscellaneous (3 volumes, 1822-1824), also in collaboration with Farmer;
  4. Annals of the Town of Concord . . . New Hampshire (1824);
  5. The Principles and Acts of Mr. Adams' Administration Vindicated (1828);
  6. Laws of Trade in the United States (1840);
  7. Memoirs of American Governors (vol. I, 1846).

Source: Dictionary of American Biography, 1928-1936, reproduced in Biography Resource Center; Gale, 2008.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence of Jacob Bailey Moore
  2. II. Compositions by Jacob Bailey Moore
  3. III. Papers of others collected by Jacob Bailey Moore

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Mrs. William W. Francis of Oradell, New Jersey and Mr. John I. Coddington of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in memory of Edward Goodwin Wesson; received: 1938 February 26.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Collection recataloged in September of 2008.

Moore, Jacob Bailey, 1797-1853. Jacob Bailey Moore papers, 1811-1851: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440