Jacob Brown was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to the New York frontier as a settler in 1798. He served as an officer in the New York militia, gradually rising through the ranks until he was appointed brigadier general just before the War of 1812. Brown served in the Northern theater, and was commissioned as a brigadier general in the regular army after successfully defending the navy yard at Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario. He went on to help lead Americans in victories at Fort Erie and Chippawa, and a tactical draw at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. As a leader, Brown had a reputation for bold but judicious decision-making that made him one of the most successful American generals of the conflict. Due to his seniority after the war, he became commanding general of the US Army, where he worked to implement reforms in the service until his death.