Moses Thomas – The Friendly Server at Klade’s Liberian Restaurant
Klade’s Liberian restaurant in suburban Philadelphia features Moses Thomas as a friendly server who rings them up at the till and chats jovially; to four survivors of an atrocious military massacre from 1990, however, Thomas represents one of Liberia’s worst warlords and one of its worst atrocities during civil war.
Early Life and Education
Moses Thomas was known for his patience, perseverance and compassion. His gentle nature meant he enjoyed spending time with family and friends alike; he will be greatly missed by many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members.
One legend tells of Moses being born in Egypt to Zipporah (Ned. iii. 1). Another recounts how Zipporah saw one of her Egyptian bondmen mistreat one of her sons and that Moses then killed the Egyptian.
The 1930 census shows that Moses, an African-American man fifty years old living in Dendron in a rented house and working as a carpenter was listed. He could read and write and had no military service claims to make. Moses worked at Chippokes Plantation under their Green Thumb Project where he cut down trees and cleared underbrush three days each week.
Moses Thomas was an entrepreneur and businessman who became actively involved with several major construction projects in New York, such as Jones Beach State Park, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and Throgs Neck Bridge.
Thomas was also known for his successful real estate business and investments in local sports teams. Yet, even with all this success he remained an active civic figure, helping bring the Indianapolis Colts franchise to Indianapolis.
Recently, Thomas has been identified in a lawsuit filed by the lead justice advocate for victims as one of the military commanders responsible for leading the 1990 massacre at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia, Liberia, which violated U.S. Torture Victim Protection Act and Alien Tort Statute laws. While Thomas denied any wrongdoing by asserting he acted out of self-defense.
Achievement and Honors
Moses was an active member of numerous scientific societies. He published an annotated edition of Emile Saigey’s “Unity of Natural Phenomena”. Additionally, he served on the board of trustees at University of Illinois.
He received the Atwood Achievement Award, honoring alumni for personal accomplishment that brings credit to their university. Additionally, he was an active member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternities.
Moses Spencer was married to Libby McEwan and fathered two children – George Thomas and Robena (“Nena”) Spencer (b. 1933). Moses invented the “Nena alarm”, a device which detected methane gas in coal mines. Additionally, his family operates a newspaper business and one of his son-in-law’s founded a jewelry manufacturing business.
Moses Thomas is known by many as a friendly server at Klade’s Liberian Restaurant in a Philadelphia suburb, where he provides customers with their orders cheerfully and enthusiastically. On weekends he plays soccer with friends nearby in a park.
Legal papers filed on Monday reveal that Moses Thomas is also responsible for some of the worst atrocities of Liberia’s civil war, such as a 1990 church massacre which claimed 600 lives and left more than 500 survivors dead. CJA is representing these survivors on behalf of Debevoise & Plimpton and Blank Rome LLP law firms.
Moses Thomas was an artist whose paintings hung for some time in a drugstore window during the early years of the American Civil War before Louis Caldor, an avid collector from New York City, happened by and took notice. Louis immediately sent for more of the paintings for himself!
As well as his banking empire, Pyne was also an accomplished philanthropist who gave away millions to Princeton University and established the Moses Taylor Pyne Foundation. Additionally, he was the grandparent of political leader Hamilton Fish Kean as well as several members of New Jersey’s powerful Kean family.
 Thomas was listed in Loudoun County Tithables List 1771 with two African slaves named GEORGE and JUDY as well as HANNAH; these figures appear on a later list (1772).
Thomas lives with his Liberian long-term girlfriend in a modest three-bedroom house and restaurant on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Recently, Thomas was named in a lawsuit filed by the Civil Justice Alliance on behalf of victims of the 1990 massacre at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Monrovia – an incident described by State Department as “one of the worst single episodes” of Liberia’s brutal civil war.