After escaping from slavery in Kentucky, Lewis Hayden (1811-1889) and his wife Harriet (1816-1893) settled in Boston on the north slope of Beacon Hill. They soon established their home as the most active Underground Railroad safe house in the city, sheltering scores of documented freedom seekers. The famous fugitive couple William and Ellen Craft stayed with the Haydens while in Boston. Lewis also played a prominent role in the courthouse rescue of Shadrach Minkins in 1851 and the attempted rescue of Anthony Burns in 1854 after they had been arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law. During the Civil War, Lewis worked as a recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and later served as a state legislator in the Massachusetts General Court.
The Lewis & Harriet Hayden House is listed as a site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. To learn more about the Network to Freedom, please visit their website.
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