Kansas town to honor Jewish abolitionist

Jewish-American immigrant August Bondi fought alongside abolitionist John Brown during the Battle of Black Jack Creek in 1856.

August 30, 2018 12:06
2 minute read.
Kansas town to honor Jewish abolitionist

"Am I Not a Man and a Brother?", 1787 medallion designed by Josiah Wedgwood for the British anti-slavery campaign. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Salina, Kansas (Tribune News Service) - August Bondi, a Jewish-American immigrant devoted to the abolition of slavery, was honored with a historical marker in Salina, Kansas this week.

Bondi served in the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry in the Civil War before moving to Salina and serving as a postmaster and judge.

The city of Salina, Salina Heritage Commission and Smoky Hill Museum will dedicate the historical marker at 5:30 p.m on Thursday at the museum.

Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, initially contacted city staff about the marker in October 2015. Klinger, who will speak about Bondi during the dedication, said the marker will celebrate Bondi's support for freedom and his opposition to slavery.

"Kansas is a diverse, active and rich state, with a history that deserves to be remembered and honored," Klinger said.

According to information provided to the Salina Heritage Commission, Bondi and his family left their native Vienna, Austria for America in 1848 when Bondi was 15 in the wake of an unsuccessful democratic revolution.

In 1850, Bondi went to work as a sailor on a freighter that went up and down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico. When the ship was docked in Galveston, Texas, Bondi observed the cruelties of slavery.

"The screams of the slaves, who were whipped with leather straps every morning, woke me before dawn at four in the morning," he wrote in his diary.

Bondi moved to Osawatomie Kansas in 1856 after he read a New York Tribune editorial that called on readers who supported freedom "to hurry out to Kansas to help save the state from the curse of slavery." The territory was then debating whether to enter the U.S. as a free or a slave state.

He fought alongside abolitionist John Brown during the Battle of Black Jack Creek in 1856. He also fought in the Battle of Osawatomie later that year. These battles between pro- and anti-slavery forces were referred to as "Bleeding Kansas," and foreshadowed the U.S. Civil War.

That wasn't the only time Bondi put his life on the line for his beliefs. He also served in the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry for the Union during the Civil War.

Bondi moved to Salina in 1866, where he served as a district court clerk, a probate judge and the city's postmaster.

In his autobiography, which he finished writing in 1905 at the age of 71, Bondi wrote that he was proud of his life's work.

"Even as a child, I decided to dedicate my life to the ideals of progress and freedom," he wrote. "I never deviated from this decision during the course of my long life, a life rich in stormy events. I have remained faithful to the principles that I swore to uphold during the stormy days of the 1848 revolution."

©2018 The Salina Journal (Salina, Kan.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

July 20, 2019
The Jewish reporter who brought the moon landing into America’s homes


Cookie Settings