Born in the Giessen in Hesse, Germany, Isaac Moses made his way to New York as a young man. He prospered in finance and became a freeman in 1766. Four years later he married his niece Reyna Levy. They had ten children, including Joshua Moses. A strong supporter of the American cause, during the Revolutionary War he and Robert Morris outfitted eight privateers to prey on British shipping. In 1784 Moses co-founded the Bank of New York with Alexander Hamilton.