BOSTON (CBS) — How would you feel if Faneuil Hall was renamed?

Boston religious leaders gathered on Wednesday at the historic building to condemn the violence in Charlottesville. That is when Kevin Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition, suggested it.

Faneuil Hall (Image: iStockphoto)

“Here in this very place on this very ground, we see an embarrassment to the community of color in Boston, an embarrassment to white people of good mind and good spirit in Boston because this place is named after a man who engaged in the sale of human flesh and we should be quite frankly embarrassed by that. I’ve called on the mayor in recent months to look into renaming this building,” said Peterson.

“It’s an embarrassment to this city to remain focusing on this place as a place of celebration and as a place of which we should have some civic pride with this name attached to it.”

He proposed that the building is renamed after Crispus Attucks, a black man, who was the first person killed in the Boston Massacre.

Boston’s famous Faneuil Hall was donated to the city by Peter Faneuil, a merchant in the area during the 1700s.

He both owned and traded slaves.

Comments (35)
  1. FOOCK YOU!!!!!

  2. History is ugly. It can not; however, be changed. Taking down statues and changing names can not change history. We can not undo it. I am sorry about slavery. But it is in the past and all we can do is learn from our mistakes. There are many people today that do not see color. There are many mixed marriages and many multi racial children and adults in this country.

    Why do we say “African American” We are ALL Americans. We should ALL strive to make this country better and not be divided by color, race, dress or religion. No one race is better than another. Everyone can have their own opinions but we have to stop getting upset when someone does not agree with our opinion.

    If you don’t agree with someone’s religion and it is not effecting your life– leave them alone!! If a woman wants to wear a head scarf–it is not effecting you –leave them alone!!!

    I just don’t understand what the problem is.

  3. The simple answer is NO. As stated by Cherie history is ugly. But we as Americans must respect others. The name of Faneuil does not lead one to think of racism. We see it as a beautiful part of Boston, and that is all.

  4. Oh hell noooooo,,this is getting out of control,,,,ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

  5. Ken Rowland says:

    HUH? Was Kevin Peterson a slave? No? Then poof, go AWAY. Next you’ll be looking for ‘reparations’!? Sorry guy, you’re a generation or two too late. Me. I’m a WHITE GUY, and fairly mellow, now being accused by some in ‘Academia’ for fomenting, ‘white-based-verbal-violence’! What’s next Peterson, 100+ years of baited-litigation. Take a nap.

  6. Why not name it after our 44th President who is a Harvard grad?….call it “Barokeydoke’s Place”

  7. How about we leave the name as it is and stop with this race baiting BS.

  8. People are not 1 Demensional , they should not be defined by 1 act, but by their Whole”. Peter was a man of his time. Doing business in a certain era. Yes slavery is immoral but was legal then Why are we looking at something that can’t be changed? Why are we not focusing on today’s issues? Human trafficking is still alive and thriving. Memorials are just that and again should be inclusive. It seems Mr Peterson is focusing on his color while telling others not too.

    Encyclopedia of World Biography on Peter Faneuil
    Peter Faneuil (1700-1743) was a wealthy American colonial merchant and philanthropist who donated Faneuil Hall to Boston.

    Eldest child of one of three Huguenot brothers who fled France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Peter Faneuil was born on June 20, 1700, in New Rochelle, N.Y. Having emigrated to America about 10 years earlier, Peter’s father, Benjamin, and his uncle, Andrew, had been early settlers of New Rochelle. Shortly afterward Andrew made Boston his permanent residence. Benjamin married Anne Bureau in 1699, and they had at least two sons and three daughters who lived to maturity.

    Little is known of Peter’s boyhood. His father, prominent and fairly well-to-do, died when Peter was 18, and soon Peter and his brother, Benjamin, Jr., moved to Boston. Their widowed, childless uncle Andrew had become one of New England’s wealthiest men through shrewd trading and Boston real estate investments. Andrew may have formally adopted his two nephews.

    Peter Faneuil entered Boston’s commission and shipping business and soon proved a competent trader. He handled merchandise from Europe and the West Indies, exported rum, fish, and produce, and engaged in ship-building. When he ventured both ship and cargo in transatlantic or coastal commerce, he customarily shared the risk with others. Charging 5 percent for handling consignments, he used advanced business methods and kept careful records. Fishing-grounds agents kept him informed of market prices and furthered his commercial connections. When Benjamin, Jr., married against his uncle’s wishes, Andrew made Peter heir to most of his fortune. Peter, swarthy, stocky, and disabled since childhood, remained a bachelor all his life.

    During his uncle’s final illness Peter managed Andrew’s business as well as his own. Prominent in the “triangular trade,” Peter shipped slaves to the West Indies and brought molasses and sugar to the Colonies. When his uncle died in 1738 Peter became–despite handsome bequests to his sisters–one of America’s wealthiest men, living sumptuously in a Beacon Street mansion.

    Among Faneuil’s lavish gifts to his community were an endowment for the families of Trinity Church’s deceased clergymen and a public market for Boston. This structure was completed in 1742, shortly before Faneuil died of dropsy on March 3, 1743. The room above the market stalls became a civic center where so many prerevolutionary meetings were held that Faneuil Hall became known as America’s “Cradle of Liberty”

  9. He’s just another Race Baiter !!!! Same as Sharpton & Jackson !!!!

  10. I don’t support changing the name, but if it was to change why not Freedom Hall, or Freedom Square

  11. Is the last line of this article going to be the norm now when referring to historic figures that trade and owned slaves. We get it CBS Boston, he owned and traded slaves. It is an ugly history but it is still history. I love being from Boston but it’s things like this that make it tough to be proud of the city.

  12. Mark McKee says:

    Sorry, but Not celebrating the Confederacy by removing statues is not changing history. But slave trading, though dispicable is not the same as fighting against the USA to preserve slavery. I’ve done a quite a bit of soul searching on this and I don’t feel that continuing to celebrate Thomas Jefferson, John Brown in Providence, and Fanual in Boston is the same thing as celebrating Jefferson Davis. My wife and I are planning on attending the anti fascist demonstrations in Boston this weekend, but if changing the name of Faneuil Hall becomes a part of that demonstration, we will leave or not go.

    1. MARK, ANTIFA is a HATE group. That is the rally you are going to attend, yet you say you dont like hate groups?

  13. People, this is NOT about re-writing history… It is about remaking this nation.
    The people that are working so hard at dividing us and changing ALL of the history they disagree with have an agenda. They have wanted and desperately WANT Communism as the form of government we have. They do NOT like freedom of speech. They do not like Freedom to have a weapon. They do not like the fact that you cant be searched without a warrant. They don’t like the fact that you have the right to not speak when questioned OR have an attorney. (See Hillary and the Nixon Watergate issue)
    They have been playing YOUR emotions for the longest time to get you to SLOWLY see their side.
    Read the communist manifesto. Chapter II (Towards the bottom) See how far they have driven this nation to communism… You won’t go voluntarily… You will go when forced…
    NOW they are using FORCE…

  14. I demand we get rid of all states, towns, roads with the word “South” as it reminds me of slavery and I deem it offensive. *sarcasm. but seriously….is this where we are headed.

  15. Sweat Hog says:

    Faneuil Hall would never have been built if Peter Faneuil didnt make his wealth by owning and trading slaves; therefore the name must be changed or boycott all merchants who do business there. Perhaps it should be sold to fund the reparations owed. (sarcasm)

  16. hypocritical people so full of hate are very embarrassing!!!

  17. Knock the building down! Why would anyone from the “New Democracy Coalition” what anything to do with a building built with the profits of slavery?

  18. So we should of course name it after a man who led an armed mob with the intent to incite violence and just happened to get shot in the chest when he was successful. That was his contribution to the city.

  19. Working on this premise we might as well change most of the founding fathers’ memorials. The removal or renaming should be done to the memorials for those seditious individuals that did such to maintain slavery.

  20. He tried to get this done earlier, and now he is striking while the iron is hot. If Faneuil’s name goes, it seems to me the new name should be something neutral and descriptive such as Boston’s Historic Marketplace. To me it’s obnoxious to randomly put someone else’s name on it. That feels too much like a ballpark that gets renamed every time a new sponsor comes along. Give Crispus a plaque or something on the spot where he was shot if he warrants acclaim.

  21. Faneuil Hall was not built as a memorial to slavery. It was build by a man who owned slaves. Do you know why it was used? Faneuil Hall: The Meeting Place of the Patriots

    Faneuil Hall, dubbed the “Cradle of Liberty”, is located in the city of Boston. Faneuil Hall was a large market building that served as a meeting place for Patriots on the eve of the American Revolution. Meetings to discuss the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, the “tea crisis,” and other grievances with Britain were all held at Faneuil Hall between 1764 and 1775. From the completion of construction in September 1742 on the waterfront at the head of the Old Town Dock, Faneuil Hall was a thriving business hub, marketplace, and meeting center prior to, during, and after the American Revolution. Faneuil Hall was home to merchants, fishermen, meat and produce sellers, and assorted peddlers of goods. The Patriots met in a one-hundred-foot long and forty-foot wide wood-floored room above a marketplace with stalls. The room was twenty-eight feet high. Faneuil Hall was the scene of the most stirring public meetings on the eve of the American Revolution with the great Patriot orators of the day sounding from its platform. It was at meetings held at Faneuil Hall in 1773 that the “tea crisis” was discussed by Patriots such as Samuel Adams and ultimately culminated in the December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party.

  22. Since we’re re-renaming everything anyway, instead of America, let’s call this great republic NARRAGANSETT, for the tribe that greeted Roger Williams at what’s now Rhode Island. I mean, it was theirs before whitey took it away from them.

  23. This guy/group is a total a$$h@le, seriously. I understand his reason and agree it’s disgusting but, now we have to tear down Mount Rushmore because they all had slaves, all the statues of every president that had slaves – Jackson with his kept woman he fathered children with even! Gawd forbid there won’t be an effing statue or mountain, or bridge, or building, or people with ‘those names’ left. Just tear down the entire country and all it’s history no matter how ugly it was. This is the year 2017 and not a single one of us were alive in those days. You think we would have become better and more civilized by now but no. You hurt my feelings is the way we have to live. Grow a pair. Our country been getting ripped apart piece by piece over the years and now this bull. American citizens no longer have a country left. Stop it! Just stop taking my country away from me and all the other legal American citizens that want their America back.

  24. Embarrassment to the city? No! Who should be embarrassed is you, Mr. Peterson, for even suggesting such a stupid, foolish idea.

  25. David Martin says:

    So, you want to remove Mr, Fanuel’s name from Fanuel Hall. Well if you truly wish to disassociate from him then you should refuse his donation of Fanuel Hall to Boston and return that property to his heirs. Otherwise you are untrue to your cause. I doubt any of you have the balls to do that. What a bunch of Hyppocrits. You are willing to accept his great gift yet you want to remove his name from that gift. Get a grip.

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