National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, “Lewis and Harriet Hayden House,” Boston African American National Historic Site – Lewis and Harriet Hayden House. http://www.nps.gov/boaf/historyculture/lewis-and-harriet-hayden-house.html.
William and Ellen Craft were among Lewis and Harriet Hayden’s most famous boarders. The Crafts had escaped from slavery by riding a passenger train to the north. Ellen, who was of light complexion, disguised herself as a southern gentleman and William played the role of a personal servant. The Crafts toured the United States, Canada, and Great Britain speaking against slavery, and they became celebrated public figures. While they were living and working in Boston, slave catchers were sent north to try to reclaim them. However, Lewis Hayden was determined to fight for their protection. Hayden threatened that two kegs of gun powder were kept near the entryway of his home. Should slave catchers come and attempt to reclaim their “property”, Hayden would sooner have blown up the house then surrender the Crafts. Eventually, the slave catchers were convinced to leave Boston.