Born at his family’s home “Moseley Hall” in Lenoir County, North Carolina, on February 1, 1795, he was of English ancestry with long roots in America. William Moseley, who came in 1649 and built Greenwich, Virginia near Norfolk on the Elizabeth River, was a distant relative. Eventually, the plantation house became known as Rolleston Hall.
In 1818, Moseley graduated from the University of North Carolina and then in 1821 received his master’s degree also from UNC. One of his college roommates went on to become president of the United States, James K. Polk.
Like so many men of his time, Mosely had many occupations all at one time. In 1817, he was a tutor at the university, after receiving his law degree, practiced law, farmed and was a schoolteacher.
While still in North Carolina, he represented Lenoir County in the North Carolina Senate and served as speaker from 1832 to 1835. He lost the Democratic nomination for governor in North Carolina by three votes.
After losing his bid for governor, Moseley moved his family to Lake Miccosukee in Jefferson County, Florida, and purchased a plantation. First elected to the territorial House of Representatives in 1840, he was then elected to the territorial Senate in 1844. On March 3, 1845, Florida was admitted as the twenty-seventh State of the Union.
Moseley’s swearing-in took place on June 25, 1845, and he established a new state government, and the Capital building was completed during his first year in office. During the Mexican American War, he oversaw the state’s efforts by supplying troops were needed to gain territory. While serving as governor, the federal government built Fort Jefferson, 68 miles of Key West, now known as Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Clinch on Amelia Island.
He worked closely with white settlers and the Seminole Indians to resolved conflicts. Also, during his administration, he encouraged agriculture and supported new citrus, avocado, tobacco, and cotton industries. A strong supporter of states’ rights, he also worked to establish state-funded public schools.
Limited to a single term by the state constitution at the time, Moseley returned to his plantation on October 1, 1849. Two years later, he settled in the town of Palatka and operated a citrus grove. At the age of 68, on January 4, 1863, he passed away and is buried at the West View Cemetery in Palatka.
Historians have given building credits of the home now abandoned to both Dr. Andrew Wood of Palatka and Governor Moseley. Originally, it was thought that the home was built in 1875, but later that was changed to 1845 and final credit for building the home was given to Moseley.