66 Phillips Street/86 Pinckney Street

Both of these houses were occupied by abolitionists and African-American families in the 1800s.
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Updated on: January 10, 2001

66 Phillips Street/86 Pinckney Street


66 Phillips Street

66 PhillipsHarriet and Lewis Hayden House
Lewis Hayden was born into slavery in 1811 in Lexington, KY. He escaped to Detroit, and then moved to Boston. In Boston, he and his wife Harriet became leaders in the abolitionist movement. When the Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850, allowing slave holders to reclaim escaped slaves from Boston, the Hayden home became a major stop on the Underground Railroad.

Legend has it that the Haydens kept kegs of gunpowder under their front steps. When bounty hunters came to the house, they would stand in the doorway holding candles and explain that they would rather drop the candles than give up fugitive slaves.


86 Pinckney Street


John J. Smith House
John J. Smith was born free in Richmond, VA, on November 2, 1820. He moved to Boston in his twenties, where he opened a barber shop. Smith was very involved in abolitionist activities and was a great friend of Senator Charles Sumner. Smith was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1868, 1869, and 1872, and lived in this house until 1893. Smith died on November 4, 1906.






86 Pinckney Street



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