Episode 14: Go in Peace, Or Go in Pieces! (Black History Month Special, part 1)

Lewis Hayden was born into slavery in Kentucky.  When he was ten years old, his owner traded him to a traveling salesman for a pair of horses.  But Hayden and his family eventually escaped to freedom, and they settled in Boston.  Their Beacon Hill home was a refuge for enslaved people seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, and he would go as far as threatening to blow the house up instead of cooperating with slave catchers, saying “Go in peace, or go in pieces!”  After Lewis Hayden’s death, his wife Harriet endowed a scholarship for African American students at Harvard Medical School, the only endowment contribution to a university made by a formerly enslaved person.  For more on these remarkable people, listen to this week’s show!

Lewis and Harriet Hayden

This Week in Boston History