Moses Cleaveland was born in Canterbury, Connecticut, in 1754. After serving in the army during the American Revolution, Cleaveland became a lawyer and a member of the state legislature.
Cleaveland was a director of the Connecticut Land Company and in 1796 he was chosen as leader of a team to explore the Cuyahoga River. Later that year he established the town of Cleveland, located on the banks of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.
Moses Cleaveland died in 1806.