A native of Denmark, Brown immigrated to the U.S. and joined the Navy from Maryland. By May 10, 1866, he was serving as captain of the afterguard on the USS De Soto. On that day, while the De Soto was off the coast of Eastport, Maine, he and two shipmates rescued two sailors from the USS Winooski from drowning.
For heroic conduct with 2 comrades, in rescuing from drowning James Rose and John Russell, seamen, of the U.S.S. Winooski, off Eastport, Maine, 10 May 1866.