Alfred Moore was born in North Carolina but educated in Boston. He returned to his roots, read law, and entered the legal profession as a 20-year-old. He served as a captain in a continental regiment and saw action in several battles.
After the war, Moore became a leader in the North Carolina bar. He was a fervent Federalist, and his strong views probably worked against him when he sought election as a delegate to the state's ratifying convention.
Moore was elected to the state legislature but later lost by one vote in his bid to serve in the U.S. Senate.
President John Adams appointed Moore to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of fellow North Carolinian, James Iredell. Moore sat for five years but wrote only one opinion in a nonconstitutional case. His tenure was marred by poor health, so he resigned and returned to North Carolina.