Born January 18, 1729 in Charles Town, South Carolina. He was one of four brothers: James,
William, Thomas, and half-brother Alexander. James became the Chief Justice of Florida, William
became the Patriot General William Moultrie of whom Fort Moultrie, South Carolina was named
after. Thomas was a Patriot Captain in the American Revolution in the 2nd South Carolina
Regiment who was killed in the Battle of Charleston. Alexander became the first Attorney General
in South Carolina and was held captive in St. Augustine while his half-brother John was Lieut.
His father was Dr. James Moultrie, Sr.(1702-1771) who was born in Culross, Shire of Fife,
Scotland. He was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh who came to Charles Town, S. C. in
1729. He was one of the original founders of the St. Andrew's Club.
John received his Medical Degree at the University of Edinburgh in 1749. His thesis was entitled
"De Febre Maligna Biliosa Americae."
He was a Major under Col. James Grant in the Cherokee War.
First Marriage to Dorothy Morton (Dry) widow of John Morton on April 30, 1753. She was born
Second Marriage to Eleanor Austin daughter of Captain George Austin and Ann Ball on January 5,
1762. She dies in 1826 in London.
In 1767 he moved to Florida. John Moultrie, Lieutenant Governor of East Florida under Governor
Grant was a highly regarded planter from the Carolinas who brought many slaves to the new
colony. Moultrie held a medical degree from Edinburgh University in Scotland and was known as a
successful planter who produced the best indigo in Carolina. He was president of the Royal Society
of East Florida. Moultrie brought many experienced slaves to Florida to clear his new lands. They
grew indigo and rice as well as corn, beans and potatoes.
Moultrie disliked land speculators who used land grants merely to gain quick profits. He was sorry
"to see so good a part of the colony run out in large tracts for grantees at home who likely do not
mean to cultivate them, and have not left room for other settlers, for many miles on the rivers."
His "Moultrie" plantation was called Bella Vista. The house was built of stone. He also owned a
large tract at what today would be Washington Oaks.
His plantation in the Tomoka Basin was named "Rosetta". Maj. John Moultrie settled a plantation
of 2,000 acres here in 1770. With 180 employees, he cultivated 1,784 of the acres. He lived in a
two-story house with ten rooms, the first story being built of stone and the second of wood.
In St. Augustine his home was what is today Dr. Peck's house.
Moultrie also placed his hopes on the raising of silkworms on mulberry trees for silk production in
the colony. He raised grapes to make wine and experimented with the breeding of cochineal
beetles, a leading source of red food dye in his day. Such horticultural experimentation was a
natural extension of the Scientific Revolution.
His biggest contributions as acting Governor was the public works program in St. Augustine and
the Kings Road that ran from the Mosquitoes plantations to the St. Marys River.
During the Revolutionary War he remained the Lieutenant Governor of Florida. On August 20th
1775 he was appointed the head of the local militia which was never properly mustered.
He retired to Ashton Hall (his wife's estate from her brother). He died in 1798 and is buried in
Shefnal Church, Shropshire, England.
He had the following children: Sarah (from first wife), John (January 22, 1764, died Dec 18,
1823), James, George, Thomas (killed at Albuera), Lucretia (married to Charles Roger Kelsall),
Cecilia (married to George Waldgrave Bligh)
British Lieut. Governor of Florida
(January 18, 1729 - 1798)
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
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