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Bondi (Bondy), August


BONDI (Bondy), AUGUST (1833–1907), pioneer abolitionist, early Jewish settler in Kansas, and supporter of John Brown's military activities. Born in Vienna, Bondi was an adventurer for much of his life. He served in the Vienna Academic Legionat the age of fifteen, and, after the failure of the 1848 revolution, was taken to the U.S. by his parents. He tried to enlist in the Lopez-Crittenden expedition to Cuba and in the Perry mission to Japan to escape the monotony that he experienced as a store clerk, the usual experience of a young European Jewish immigrant at that time. With Jacob Benjamin, he established atrading post in Kansas and joined the John Brown abolitionist forces in 1855. His reminiscences and manuscript letters report in colorful detail on the Kansas border warfare and on his later service as a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. In both cases, he fought out of the conviction that slavery was a moral evil. In 1866 he settled in Salina, Kansas, where he established himself as an attorney and businessman, and took an active role in civic life. Bondi's reminiscences, published in Galesburg, Illinois, as Autobiography of August Bondi (1910), is a fascinating record of an unusual immigrant's life.


G. Kisch, In Search of Freedom (1949), index.

[Bertram Wallace Korn]

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