Born: June 16, 1810, Scantic Parish, East Windsor, Connecticut.
Died: June 19, 1880, Monson, Massachusetts.
Buried: Hillside Cemetery, Monson, Massachusetts.
Samuel was the son of carpenter and painter Timothy Hill Brown, and hymnist Phoebe Brown, and husband of Elizabeth Goodwin Bartlett.
He was educated at Amherst College; Yale College (graduated 1832); the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina; and Union Seminary, New York.
He taught in Canton (now Guangzhou), China; Macau; and Hong Kong (1838–47). Upon his return to America, he ran an academy in Rome, New York (1848–51).
In 1851, he went to a Reformed Dutch pastorate in Owasco Lake, New York. A school he founded there, Springside, was part of the
Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves move north before the American civil war.
In 1859, the Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Dutch Church sent Brown to Yokohama, Japan, as the first American missionary in that country.
He translated a number of books from English to Japanese, prepared Japanese grammar volumes, and helped found Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo.