Journal History of April 24, 1843 member of the Mormon Battalion and was the founder of Ogden
James with two of his sons, Jesse and Alexander, volunteered to serve as part of the Mormon Battalion. One of his wives, Mary McRee, and her son George David, also traveled with the Mormon Battalion. His other three wives and children stayed at Council Bluffs until they could be brought to the Salt Lake Valley. Mary’s job was to do the laundry for 16 men. James was the Captain of Company C, and his two sons served in his company as privates. At Santa Fe, James was one of a few placed in charge of a sick detachment which was sent to Pueblo, Colorado to spend the winter. Mary accompanied him and cared for the sick men. The next spring, the company traveled by way of Fort Laramie and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley five days after the Brigham Young Pioneer Company.
In August 1847, after arriving to Salt Lake City, James went to California with his son Jesse, Abner Blackburn, and Lysander Woodworth. Samuel Lewis later joined their group. They returned to Salt Lake City on November 16, 1847.
In 1852 he was sent to British Guinea on a mission. He sailed from San Diego to Panama. Being unable to ship for British Guiana, he and Elijah Thomas embarked for Jamacia. They proceeded to New York where they landed in 1853. While in Panama, James contracted Yellow Fever, he eventually recovered, but he finished out his mission in the Eastern States. He was then called as an emigration agent for the Church. He returned to the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1854. He traveled home as Captain of the James Brown Company.