A Blupete Biography Page

James Moody

Moody was from New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Brittain, by whom he had three children.1 When the American Revolution broke out, while initially quite happy to stay out of the conflict, Moody was drawn in on the British side. He became a member of the New Jersey Volunteers, and because of his knowledge of the territory was to lead a number of raids on rebel strongholds. At one point in the conflict, Moody was taken as a prisoner, however, he managed to escape and returned to active service with the British forces. He was sent, at one point, "to break into the state-house at Philadelphia and steal congressional books and documents. The plan was exposed, and he was forced to spend two days in a cornstack without food or water to avoid capture. His brother, who had accompanied him, was caught and executed as a spy."2

By 1782, the result of the war between Great Britain and its former colonies became predictable. When James Moody had an opportunity to escape to England, he did so, leaving his new wife and his children behind with his father.3 He spent four years in England during which time he managed to obtain compensation and a pension as a result of his efforts to assist the British in America.

Eventually, Moody returned to Nova Scotia. He arrived at Halifax in the spring of 1786.4 "By the summer of 1788, James Moody had become well established in his new situation at Sissiboo. His father was now dead, and he had retrieved his nearly grown children from New Jersey. Already he was described as a 'public benefactor to the settlement,' every Sunday reading 'prayers and a sermon in his own house to a number of his neighbours who attend.'"5 Moody represented Annapolis County in the legislature for a number of years beginning in 1793. We see6 where Moody was responsible for building a number of ocean going sailing vessels. His first vessel appears to be the 250 ton ship, the Loyalist, which he built at the mouth of the Sissibo River. Moody died in 1809 and was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's, a small Anglican church which was built mostly through the encouragement and efforts of Moody.


[1] See, "The Moody Families of Weymouth and Yarmouth" by John Wentworth Moody, NSHR#3:2(1983) at p.89.

[2] DCB.

[3] His first wife, Elizabeth, took a bad fall from a horse during one of those times that Moody was off fighting the rebels; she died from her injuries. James remarried a widow, Jane Robinson Lynson (Lynston) at New York in March of 1782; there was no issue from this second marriage.

[4] See, "Loyalist Squire, Loyalist Church" by Susan Burgess Shenstone, NSHR#3:2(1983) at p. 73.

[5] Shenstone, p. 74.

[6] Shenstone, p. 70.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)