Pierre Bonga was reportedly the son of Jean and Jeanne Bonga, a freed slave couple who had belonged to the British officer commanding at Mackinac Island in the 1780s. Pierre worked for the North West Company, and later for the American Fur Company. One source says he married an Ojibway woman and fathered four sons, all of whom participated in the fur trade. A second source shows children Marguerite (b.1797-98 in the Lake Superior area-d.1880) (m.Jacob Fahlstrom in 1823 at Fond du Lac); Stephen (b.jun.1799 near Superior, Wis.-d.1889) (m.Susan); and George Bonga (b.abt.1802 near Duluth, MN-d.1884) (m. to two Ojibwe women). Pierre was reported to be in the North West Company with Alexander Henry the younger at the Red River of the North in 1802. Neil Kingsblood, the protagonist of Sinclair Lewis' novel Kingsblood Royal is descended from Xavier Pic, a freed slave from the French colony of Martinique whose life loosely parallels that of Bonga. The Bonga family is also directly referred to in the novel.