She was one of nine children born to French parents of the Jewish faith, Abraham and Sarah Moise, who came to Charleston from the island of St. Eustatius in 1791. Her siblings were: Cherie, Aaron, Hyman, Benjamin (born in the islands), Rachel, Jacob, Abraham and Isaac, (born in the United States). She went to work at 12 to support her family when her father died. She studied on the side, developing her literacy and scholarship, and began her prolific writing career in 1830. She was the author of hymns used in Jewish religious services, contributed verses to the Home Journal, the Washington Union, and other publications, and published Fancy's Sketch-Book (Charleston, 1833), a book of poems, and Hymns Written for the Use of Hebrew Congregations (1856), a compilation for her synagogue, Beth Elohim.
- Jewish Women's Archive
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Moise, Penina". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- Robert Duncan Bass (1934). "Moïse, Penina". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.