He attended the public schools and later studied law.
He was admitted to the bar in 1818 and commenced practice in Newburgh. He was elected a justice of the peace in 1820. Brown was elected as a Jacksonian to the 23rd and 24th United States Congresses, and served from March 4, 1833, to March 3, 1837.
Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.
He was a justice of the New York Supreme Court (2nd District) from 1850 to 1865, and was ex officio a judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1857 and 1865. In 1865, he ran on the Democratic ticket for the Court of Appeals but was defeated by Republican Ward Hunt.
Afterwards he again resumed the practice of law. He was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newburgh, New New York
Member United States House