Faneuil Hall


Portrait by Artist to Come




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Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a center for commerce in 1742. Today it is still a place of business with landmark stalls of shops on the first floor, but it is the second floor meeting hall that has the greater legacy.

It was at Faneuil Hall in 1764 that Bostonians protested against the Sugar Act, working towards the doctrine of no taxation without representation. Gatherings to protest the Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, and the military occupation of Boston would follow. A statue of Samuel Adams stands in front of Faneuil Hall, where some of his most significant work was done by dominating town meetings and staging a funeral for the victims of the Boston Massacre.

The third floor is Headquarters for the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, the third oldest chartered military organization in the world and the oldest in the western hemisphere.

Part of the Freedom Trail™.

Associated People

By attacking slavery more fiercely than ever before, Revolutionary Americans freed tens of thousands of slaves. But the Revolution’s libertarian and egalitarian message had perverse consequences. It forced those Southerners who chose to retain slavery to fall back on the alleged racial deficiencies of blacks as a justification for an institution that hitherto they had taken for granted and had never before needed to justify. The anti-slavery movement that arose out of the Revolution inadvertently produced racism in America.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)