Cheney was born in 1793 in Thornton, New Hampshire. Cheney entered the paper printing business in a region of nearby Holderness which was later renamed Ashland. On June 23, 1816 he married Abigail (Morrison) Cheney (b. 1796). Moses Cheney served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad at his home in Peterborough where he hosted Frederick Douglass on several occasions. Cheney was also the original printer of The Morning Star, an abolitionist Freewill Baptist newspaper. Cheney's son Oren Cheney was the founder and first president of Bates College in Maine, and Moses' son Person Cheney served as a U.S. Senator and Governor of New Hampshire. Moses Cheney died on July 17, 1875, and was buried in Ashland.
- Emeline Cheney, The Story of the Life and Work of Oren B. Cheney (Boston: Morning Star Publishing, 1907) (accessed January 28, 2009).
- History of Sanbornton, New Hampshire By Moses Thurston Runnels Published by A. Mudge & son, printers, 1881