After a degree at the University of Missouri, he took a Doctor of Philosophy at Harvard University with a dissertation on ballads.
He was appointed associate professor at the University of Indiana in 1922. In 1930 he became convinced that A General History of the Pyrates was written by Defoe, and announced this finding in 1932. He went on to attribute also Robert Drury"s Journal to Defoe alone (going much further than previous bibliographers William Lee who had rejected the idea, Samuel Pasfield Oliver, and William Peterfield Trent).
This attribution turned out to be highly controversial.
lieutenant was criticised by Arthur West. Secord in a 1945 paper. In later attacking Moore"s work on the Defoe canon as a whole, Rodney Baine picked out the attribution of Robert Drury"s Journal as an egregious example.