MOORE, PHILIP HENRY, farmer, soldier, legislative councillor, and railroad president; b. at Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, 22 Feb. 1799, the third son of Nicholas and Catherine Streit; m. Harriet A. Stone (b. at Fairfax, Vermont, in 1802), and they had six sons and two daughters; d. 21 Nov. 1880 at Saint-Armand-Station, Missisquoi County, Que.
Philip Henry Moore moved with his parents in 1802 to Moore’s Corner (later known as Saint-Armand-Station). After attending the district school, he studied at an academy in St Albans, Vermont. As a young man he farmed for a short time and for some years was a merchant in Bedford, Missisquoi County. On 25 July 1829 he was appointed commissioner for the trial of small causes in the seigneury of Saint-Armand, along with Jonas Abbott; he was commissioned the first registrar of Missisquoi County at Frelighsburg on 19 June 1830. He retired from business in 1833 to the ancestral farm two and a half miles north of Moore’s Corner and proved to be “a good intelligent farmer”: his name appeared for many years on the annual prize list of the county. He served in the local militia, which formed a company of the 4th Bedford battalion, and he took a prominent part in the battle at Moore’s Corner in the rebellion of 1837 for which he was officially thanked by Sir John Colborne*, commander in chief. Charged by some with taking too much credit for the success of the battle, he produced documents, printed in the Montreal Herald in March 1838, which confirmed that he had indeed directed his party to the extent he had claimed.
On the union of the provinces in 1841, Philip Henry Moore was called to the Legislative Council, a position he held until confederation. He was active in the council’s debates and, with his colleague for Missisquoi, Paul Holland Knowlton*, laboured ardently for decentralization on behalf of their area. Before union the courts, both civil and criminal, had been in Montreal. That city was also the market for the products of Missisquoi County and it was hard to reach, except in winter; yet farmers of the area were unable to sell in the American market because of U.S. tariffs. By 1859 Moore could state that this situation had completely changed: new judicial districts, “municipal, county, township and parish councils,” and “a corporate local Legislature” had been established, and by the reciprocity treaty of 1854 agricultural products were admitted into the American market free of duty. Moore insisted also that the Eastern Townships should send their own residents to parliament and “no longer submit to be used as trading capital by political demagogues.”
In 1846 Moore had been chairman of the committee instructed to investigate losses of inhabitants of Lower Canada in the 1837–38 uprising. The commissioners’ task was not easy. The claimants themselves chose the witnesses, who were often their wives, brothers, or sisters, to testify about the nature of their losses, their conduct during the rebellion, and the accuracy of the ;mount of reparation being applied for. However questionable this sort of testimony, it was the only evidence available. The investigations lasted until 1851, and Moore worked diligently, as he was in favour of compensation for all those who had suffered losses. In 1849 the parliamentary library had burned and he was deputed in 1857 to visit the; United States to procure public documents to replace those lost. His efforts were highly successful.
At confederation he was offered membership in the Legislative Council of Quebec but declined in order to become a candidate for the federal House of Commons. Moore ran as an independent Conservative and was defeated by the Conservative candidate, Brown Chamberlin* of Frelighsburg.
Moore was instrumental in securing the charter for the Montreal and Vermont Junction Railway and gave the railroad the right of way to build across his property. He was president of this railroad until his death. In this activity as in others, he was untiring in promoting the interests and welfare of the people of the Eastern Townships.
Archives judiciares de Bedford (Cowansville, Qué.), Registre d’état civil, 21 nov. 1880. Brome County Hist. Soc. Museum Archives (Knowlton, Que.), County papers, Missisquoi. Canada, Province of, Legislative Assembly, Journals, 1852–53, app.V.V., “Reports on the rebellion losses, 1837 & 1838.” Advertiser and Eastern Townships Sentinel (Waterloo, Que.), 23 Feb. 1860. District of Bedford Times (Sweetsburg, Que.), 14 June 1867. Montreal Herald, 2 Jan., March 1838. Illustrated atlas of the dominion of Canada . . . (Toronto, 1881), iii. Cyrus Thomas, Contributions to the history of the Eastern Townships: a work containing an account of the early settlement of St. Armand, Dunham, Sutton, Brome, Potton, and Bolton . . . (Montreal, 1866), 35. “Honourable Philip Henry Moore,” Missisquoi County Hist. Soc., Report (Saint-Jean, Que.), 1907, 51–52. “The Moore’s Corner battle in 1837,” Missisquoi County Hist. Soc., Report (Saint-Jean, Que.), 1908–9, 67–70.