Brons, Isaac (1802-1886)

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Isaac Brons, born 3 April 1802 at Emden, died 12 March 1886 at Emden, was deacon of the Mennonite church there until 1872. At the age of 17 he lost his father and faithfully supported his mother. The Mennonite virtues of perseverance and patience in addition to a deeply religious earnestness characterized him throughout his life. The writings of the Romantics exerted a pronounced effect on his development in his youth, and he was an enthusiastic admirer of Schiller. In 1826 he settled in Emden and established his prosperous mercantile business. On 12 November 1830, he married Antje Cremer ten Doornkaat and found in her a sympathetic and loyal companion. (See Brons, Antje)

In the city council his opinions were gladly heard, although his zealous political activity in the interests of a strong and unified Germany was not favorably regarded by the Hannoverian government of the time. In 1849 he represented East Friesland with other delegates in the German parliament at Frankfurt and agitated for the National-Verein founded in 1861 by R. von Bennigsen. With some like-minded friends he also founded a Navy Society for East Friesland in 1861, and was chosen its permanent chairman. Though the Hannoverian government did not view the efforts to establish a Prussian fleet with favor, Isaac Brons was not deterred from working with all his might for the National Union and the Naval Society. In 1863 he represented East Friesland at a Diet of cities when the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig was celebrated. When the Reichstag of the North German Bund was called in 1867 to draft a constitution, he represented his electoral district and took an active part in its work. But then he withdrew from politics, on the ground that younger men could more adequately represent the district with honor. Until 1872 he retained his membership in the civic association (Bürgerschaft). Then he resigned this position and also his office of deacon in the church.

Isaac Brons accomplished much for his native city, his country, and his church and earned the respect of all. In addition, in complete understanding with his wife, he devoted much energy to rearing his children as useful citizens and wholesome, convinced Mennonites. It was a well-earned testimony to the community of spirit with his wife that she dedicated her book, Ursprung, Entwicklung und Schicksale der Taufgesinnten oder Mennoniten, in kurzen Zügen übersichtlich dargestellt von Frauenhand, to him for his 83rd birthday. His wife describes his character with these words: "A man equipped with enormous energy, strength of will and determination, with significant talents and a many-sided intelligence. As a faithful steward he honorably and honestly invested the pound entrusted to him, so that a corresponding success was not lacking. But he never exalted himself, and never sought positions of honor. He accepted them only when it was demanded of him. The thrift practiced in his parental home remained characteristic of him; unnecessary extravagance roused his anger. But on the proper occasions he avoided no expenditures. He reared his children in the same spirit, and was able to see the blessing derived from it in his children and children's children, and beyond."


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 273.

Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1900): 43-57.

Author(s) H van der Smissen
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

van der Smissen, H. "Brons, Isaac (1802-1886)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 12 Apr 2021.,_Isaac_(1802-1886)&oldid=161239.

APA style

van der Smissen, H. (1953). Brons, Isaac (1802-1886). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 April 2021, from,_Isaac_(1802-1886)&oldid=161239.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 437-438. All rights reserved.

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