Lewis Hayden, a hero
a station master
This man talked the talk and walked the walk. Our hero.
On most nights the slave catchers walked by. But on one particularly dark night word got out that a group of runaways was at Lewis Hayden’s house.
A large mob had gathered with torches at his door. Just in the street where you are standing now.
They had accused Lewis of harboring runaway slaves. And he was in fact harboring runaways.
Lewis Hayden was not the type to quit.
He did not fear penalties or prison.
He wanted his friends to be free.
He thought for a moment what he would do. He knew he would fight. But he would have to be smart. Be bold. That was the only way he would save the souls of the runaways that were hiding in his home. He had to take action.
As Lewis Hayden opened his green door on Philips Street he presented the angry mob with an oversized flaming torch. The crowd silenced for a moment and took a step back. Lewis Hayden then announced in his powerful voice.
“I have laced dynamite under my front stairs and in my basement. We have 2 choice. Either you are going away, or we are all going to go up together.”
Needless to say, the crowd quickly dispersed.
Who knows if he really did have dynamite under his stairs. But we do know his bold actions saved lives. And his character pushed us all closer to freedom.
Traveling on the underground railroad was no easy task. It took our hero's actions like Lewis Hayden to stand up to injustice and fight for what he beleived in to make the world better for everyone.
To learn more about Lewis Hayden, see his home, and discover other stops on the underground railroad take our solo walking to "The Underground Railroad Beacon Hill" walking tour.
Get the tour on the WalknTours app available on the App Store and Google Play.
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The tour begins at the Charles Street Meeting