Nicholas was born on the 18th of July, 1870 in Finland and after joining the US Navy, he was a Coxswain and his actions earned him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Erickson set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this action.
Nicholas Erickson died on the 21st of June, 1931 at the age of 60 and is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York.