George Bonga

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by jzierden
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Social Studies
African-American History

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George Bonga

George Bonga(By: Mr. Zierden)

George Bonga

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North Star - George Bonga

Biography Crick, Crack, thwack the sound of men trudging through the forest. For hundreds and even thousands of years people gathered resources from the forest. One group of people that relied on the forests of Minnesota were the voyageurs and fur traders. Fur traders were a rough and tough bunch of primarily French men (then americans) who traveled to the inter United States to trade fur with the Native Americans. One of the most famous fur traders of early Minnesota most people have probably not heard about, George Bonga. Bonga was a very extraordinary man. Even George Bonga’s beginning would set him aside from other men. Unlike most people of the time George was the child of an African American father and an ojibwe mother. George was very intelligent and could speak three languages; French, English and Ojibwe. Bonga would go on to become a very successful trader and trustworthy interpreter. George Bonga created many firsts for Minnesota. George Bonga was considered a prime contributor to Minnesota's history. Bonga was born near Duluth in 1802 and was one of the first black men in Minnesota if not the first. George also crucial in the first criminal trial in Minnesota. He captured Che-ge-wa-skung and brought to Fort Snelling for a trial. George Bonga is also one of Minnesota's first legends. George Bonga’s legend rivals that of Paul Bunyan or at least one time it did. The Tale of Bonga have faded, but unlike Mr. Bunyan he was real. George was said to be a legendary story teller. His stories could paralyze a man with laughter. Bonga captured a criminal after tracking him down in a blizzard for six days. If that is not enough it is side he carried 700 pounds on a portage, where an average man only carried 180 and at best 270 pounds. Bonga was a very impressive man. An extraordinary man George Bonga lived until 1884 a very old age at the time of his passing. Bonga is seeming to slip through the pages of history, but his name should not be forgotten. Bonga was the “first” black man in Minnesota. He was essential in the first criminal trial in Minnesota. George also was a great fur trader and interpreter. Bonga was also legendary in his strength, story telling and character. George Bonga man which grew into legend help shape the great state of Minnesota and should not be forgotten. References Bonga, George (c.1802–1874). (n.d.). Retrieved from Durbin, William. "Who was George Bonga?". MNDNR: Young Naturalists. Retrived from Bonga, Black Indian Fur Trader (1802 – 1880). (n.d.). Retrieved from

Quick Facts1. Father African American2. Mother Ojibwe3. Spoke 3 Languges; French, English and Ojibwe4. Interpreter5. (1802 - 1884)

InterestingsFacts1. "First" African American in Minnesota2. Captured wanted man for the first criminal trial in Minnesota3. Legend in song, sotytelling and strength. 4. Portaged 700 lbs

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