Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BROWN, William, Argentine naval officer, born in lreland, about 1779. He went to Baltimore in 1793, and was employed as a sailor in the mercantile marine until 1796, when a British man-of-war impressed him. In 1814, being at Buenos Ayres in command of an English merchant-ship, during the war of independence, he was induced to enter the naval service of that country. Receiving the command of its flotilla, he engaged, in April, 1814, some Spanish vessels off the island of Martin Garcia. In the ensuing May a more decisive engagement took place off Montevideo, while General Alvear attacked the City by land. Four of the enemy's vessels were taken or destroyed, and the rest dispersed, causing the speedy capture of that city. Brown was made admiral, planned an expedition against the Spaniards in the Pacific Ocean, and was for some time successful, taking many rich prizes. After greatly annoying the Spanish commerce in the Pacific, he was returning, when he was captured by a British ship-of-war, carried into Antigua, and condemned upon frivolous allegations. Owing to this proceeding, Brown lived at Buenos Ayres in retirement, and almost in poverty, until the war with Brazil. which began in 1826, when he defeated the Brazilian fleet, and rendered other important services.
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