Alabama's fifth governor was one of the best qualified and most colorful of the early governors. Gabriel Moore was born in 1785 in Stokes County, North Carolina. He moved to the Mississippi Territory and settled in Huntsville in 1810. There he practiced law and became active in politics. Moore served in the territorial legislatures, was elected to represent Alabama in the US Congress in 1821 and was re-elected in 1827.
Gabriel Moore was elected Alabama Governor in 1829 without opposition. Moore was a strong Jacksonian who disliked the "tariff of abominations," but opposed South Carolina in the "nullification crisis." Moore was also opposed to the re-chartering of the US Bank. During Moore's term of office construction was begun on a Tennessee River canal in the Muscle Shoals area, the first railroad was chartered, and the Treaty of Dancing Creek was negotiated. Moore was a strong supporter of the University of Alabama which was preparing to open its doors to students. Moore also advocated a revision of the state penal code and the establishment of a state penitentiary.
In 1831 Gabriel Moore was elected to the US Senate. He resigned his gubernatorial duties on March 3, 1831 to assume that post. In 1832 Moore voted to reject Martin Van Buren as minister to Great Britain, angering President Jackson and many of his Alabama constituents. The Alabama General Assembly asked Moore to resign his position, a request which he refused. Moore was defeated in his 1837 re-election bid. In 1843 Gabriel Moore moved to Texas, where he died two years later.
Gabriel Moore was said to be a hot-tempered man who enjoyed drinking with his constituents. Early in his life he married under somewhat secret conditions. He was divorced shortly thereafter and a duel was fought with the brother of the bride. These incidents did not appear to have an adverse effect on Moore's political career.