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Minnesota Historical Society [94486]

Charles Alfred Zimmerman

George Bonga, Minnesota

George Bonga became a well-known fur trader and trapper. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, he was one of two sons of a black father and a Chippewa mother. He was educated in Montreal, and could speak English, French, and Ojibwa fluently. Bonga worked for the American Fur Company, and then as an independent fur trader and a businessman who associated with prominent politicians of the territory of Minnesota. Like his father, Bonga married a Chippewa woman, and in 1820 served as an interpreter for Governor Louis Cass at a council at Fond du Lac Territory. He died in 1880.

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