The Haydens were able to escape Kentucky as slaves and begin a new life for their family in Boston as freemen the year of 1844. During Joseph's time in Boston with his family his father became a prominent figure in the abolitionist community. Later in 1858, Lewis Hayden had the position of "messenger" while working for the Governor of Massachusetts. While working within the Massachusetts State Government, Lewis Hayden was able to have a strong impact on helping create racial change from within.
After aiding Governor John A. Andrew achieve his political office in 1860, and being friendly with George L. Stearns, Lewis had an idea. He had suggested to the governor that the war may end if black men were given the right to put on a uniform and fight. Governor Andrew took Lewis suggestion ad brought it to Washington. “…his employer went to Washington and made the suggestion to President Lincoln. In 1863, Massachusetts was the first state to recruit colored troops.
On April 7, 1889 Lewis hayden passed away. He had died in the city he had been fighting for during the entirety of his adult life, Boston Mass. When hayden passed, over 1,200 came to the service and mourned his death.