Born April 19, 1779 in Frederick County, Virginia, Brown attended the common schools. He moved with his father to Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1784 and to Cynthiana, Kentucky, about 1795. Brown studied law and was admitted to the bar. He served as a colonel in the War of 1812.
Brown was elected as the Democratic-Republican to the Sixteenth Congress (March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1821) for the Kentucky 3rd District. He moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1832, where he died October 6, 1833.