He enrolled as a student in 1850, but soon took off to work at sea. He took the mate"s examination in 1852, and worked as a shipmaster from 1859 to 1869, as well as ship-owner. He was also vice consul from the mid-1880s, at that time living in Tønsberg.
He was elected to the Norwegian Parliament in 1880, representing the urban constituency Tønsberg.
He was re-elected on four occasions, serving a total of five terms. He was also mayor of Tønsberg for twelve years.
He left on 1 July 1894 to become Minister of Defence. On 1 April the next year there was a reshuffle and he was appointed Minister of Auditing.
He held this post until October 1895, when the second cabinet Stang fell.
He moved from Tønsberg to Vestre Aker i 1897, and died in 1917.
On 2 May 1893 he was appointed to the second cabinet Stang as a member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm.