Jacob Brown (1775-1828), American soldier, was born of Quaker ancestry, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of May 1775. From 1796 to 1798 he was engaged in surveying public lands in Ohio; in 1798 he settled in New York City, and during the period (1798-1800) when war with France seemed imminent he acted as military secretary to Alexander Hamilton, then inspector-general of the United States army. Subsequently he purchased a large tract of land in Jefferson county, New York, where he founded the town of Brownville. There he served as county judge, and attained the rank (1810) of brigadier-general in the state militia. On the outbreak of the second war with Great Britain (1812) he was placed in command of the New York state frontier from Oswego to Lake St Francis (near Cornwall, Ontario) and repelled the British attacks on Ogdensburg (October 4, 1812) and Sackett's Harbor (May 29, 1813). In July 1813 he was commissioned brigadier-general in the regular army, and in January 1814 he was promoted major-general and succeeded General James Wilkinson in command of the forces at Niagara. Early in the summer of 1814 he undertook offensive operations, and his forces occupied Fort Erie, and, on the 5th of July, at Chippawa, Ontario, defeated the British under General Phineas Riall (c. 1769-1851). On the 25th of July, with General Winfield Scott, he fought a hotly contested, but indecisive, battle with the British under General Gordon Drummond (1771-1854) at Lundy's Lane, where he was twice wounded.
After the war he remained in the army, of which he was the commanding general from March 1821 until his death at Washington, D.C., on the 24th of February 1828.