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Walsh: Keep Faneuil Hall's name lest we forget why we cared about the name in the first place

Faneuil

Mayor Walsh said today he opposes an effort to change Faneuil Hall's name just because Peter Faneuil owned slaves and was active in both the direct slave trade and the Triangular Trade that helped finance the purchase of yet more slaves.

"If we change the name of Faneuil Hall, 30 years from now, we'd forget what happened there," Walsh said at an afternoon press conference at City Hall.

Faneuil financed construction of the marketplace building that was given his name after he died in 1743 - six months after the hall opened for business.

Reporters did not follow up with a question about how we remember what happened in World War II if there are no buildings named for it.

Faneuil painting from the National Portrait Gallery.

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Comments

Marty turned out to be a total coward. He's actually afraid to address the issue. Sad.

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He showed he has the balls to fight back against the perpetually butt hurt, ultra woke minority of WHITE folks moving here in their Subaru’s.

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this Counterpoint dude is a douchebag

(sometimes you have to meet them at their own level and do a lil namecalling using words they understand, in this case probably because people have been calling them that their whole life)

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Ha! As if folks of color are all Gung-Ho about keeping a slave trader’s likelihood alive and well in the city.

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insensitive.

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you do know that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves as well - that’s gonna be a lot of names to change

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i personally overlook george and tom (tom less so becuz of monticello) becuz they have done so much more.

ben franklin loved his french prostitutes but i dont think he should be taken off the $100.

what is peters claim to fame: that he became wealthy from buying humans overseas and selling them locally at a slite mark up.
?

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that's gonna be a lot of names to change

Who gives a shit?

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Let's change those names too.
I'm for more abstract street names myself:
Democracy Drive.
Bill of Rights Boulevard.
Universal Suffrage Street.
Let's get to renaming. And the presidents discussed above should and will be remembered for all their deeds.
Chattel slavery merchants like Faneuil will be remembered for their achievements and actions too. In totality. It won't bode well for their legacies but we should honor them now no more than the new Americans honored their previous king.

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Moscow, Russia, that is.

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That strikes me as one of the easier problems to have.

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Marty, is that the best argument you can offer? That is the same thing Southerners say about the Lee statues and the Confederate battle flag.

If you oppose the name change, you need a much better argument.

First, few of us knew or remember that Faneuil was a slave trader. Second, you have a poor imagination if you believe the only or best way to remember the historical tie to slavery is for the name to remain unchanged.

Please don’t read this comment as for or against the Faneuil Hall name change. But for this to be the current Mayor of Boston’s best argument is hilarious.

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People need to be made aware of both the good and the bad, regarding the United States of America's history. Changing the name of Fanueil Hall doesn't make sense.

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There is a difference between documenting and commemorating/memorializing.

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Name one historical fact you learned from a flag other than that the flag exists.

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This was one of the most important abolitionist meeting places in the nation before the Civil War.

When it was called Faneuil Hall.

I'm sure that they knew the history of Mr. Faneuil, but no one then was asking to change the name.

They were proud to be in the Cradle of Liberty where many of the early protests about taxation without representation had also taken place.

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>but no one then was asking to change the name.

Source?

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OK, let's call it Abolitionists Hall.

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Abolitionists Hall would be a great name and would add interest for tourists & school field trips visiting for the Freedom Trail.

I've been reading some local history about abolitionists. They varied in their understanding and attitudes, sometimes paternalistic, sometimes more egalitarian, but they were definitely thinkers and, as a group, worth a re-naming.

The re-naming would add three layers of history - from the time it was built to the time it was used for anti-slavery meetings to the time now when it was re-named and why. It would also open up conversations about who were the abolitionists and about the varying approaches to the anti-slavery movement and the post-freedom suffrage and civil rights and reconstruction work.

For consistency with tourist guides to the city, one of the rooms could retain the name Fanueil, or a hyphenated name "Fanueil Hall Abolitionist Meeting Room" or something like that, and the property overall re-named Abolitionists Hall.

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Up until I read your comment here, I was against renaming Faneuil Hall. But this is an awesome suggestion. How do we get it to happen?

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I'm not ruling out renaming, but what a dumb mouth-full "Abolitionists" is to say. Fanueil rolls off the tongue with 2 syllables instead of 5. Frankensteining it together makes it even worse.

Yes, I value the meaning of the name too, but the aesthetic and stancing of it is important for actually using it in common language.

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"Abolitionists" is way worse than "Faneuil". It's not like one in a third-grade vocabulary word, and the other is an impossible-to-spell name of an avowed slaver or anything.

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Let's pick a specific abolitionist to honor, rather than the generic. My nominee is Lewis Hayden, who once barricaded fugitive slaves in his home and got the hunters to go away by giving them the choice to "Go in peace or go in pieces."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Hayden
http://www.hubhistory.com/episodes/episode-14-go-peace-go-pieces-black-h...

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I officially declare this the dumbest thing Marty Walsh has ever said in a public forum, unseating the claim that Boston 2024 opposition was just "10 people on Twitter."

Congratulations, Marty.

And seriously Boston, get out there and %*@$ing vote next time around.

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whereas this will probably require more immediate action. See you at your house early Sunday morning, Marty!

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can't it be both?

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This:

whereas this will probably require more immediate action. See you at your house early Sunday morning, Marty!

is ridiculous! Why is the renaming of Fanueil Hall such an emergency? It doesn't make sense.

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Time to start naming things "Osama Bin Laden Elementary School" and "Osama Bin Laden Boulevard."

You know, so we never forget.

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Yeah, Marty is clearly the next George Wallace.

But seriously, I honestly can't imagine a better way to present the complex history of our city, and America, than putting up displays right there that explain how the wealthy benefactor of this well-known spot made at least some of his money in awful ways.

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I remember which order the vowels are in Faneuil because Faneuil was evil.

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Damn. A history and spelling lesson in one sentence!

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Fanevil Hall?

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Round out that V a little bit and you got it.

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We've forgotten what happened there.

Julius Caesar Chappelle, one of the first black legislators in America, gave a speech in 1890 that became front page news in its day endorsing the Federal Elections bill to give black people the right to vote.

We should rename it after a man born into slavery who rose up to become one of the most prominent black Bostonians so we don't forget what happened there now and 30 years from now.

Chappelle Hall it is for me.

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"If we change the name of Faneuil Hall, 30 years from now, we'd forget what happened there,"

what happened there ? is he talking about the boston massacre ? why would that be forgotten ?

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The Boston Massacre occurred about a block away in front of the Old State House.

He's referring to the auctioning off of human beings into permanent chattel slavery, something Massachusetts has indeed tried it's best to forget ever happened within its borders. It is important to remember that grand structures like Faneuil Hall were built with profits from stolen labor and stolen liberty.

I say keep the name, and produce some considered, visible, and accessible interpretive signage concerning the history of chattel slavery at the spot and in the state more broadly. Later abolitionist meetings held in Faneuil Hall could likewise be explored.

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thanx, ive been to faneuil hall 100 times. never knew he was a slave trader until 2 years ago. i always assumed he was some prestigious governor or senator or something.

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Same here! I volunteered to do tours for Boston by Foot (BFF) a few years ago. We have six Saturdays of training, all day. We had readings, and had to do a paper and a presentation each week. There was a lecture in the morning - archaeologists, architects, civil engineers. The BFF organization is a bunch of miserable hags, but the training was excellent.

NOT ONCE did anyone make mention of Faneuil's connection to slavery. That was pretty irresponsible on the part of BFF. Also, I am a native Bostonian who remembers what the area now known as Quincy Market was before - a deserted, run-down area that you didn't go to.

Fanueil was always referred to as a 'merchant'. It just shows you how we can be convinced and/or deceived by a simple word.

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how benign. is that like being a merchant on an online e-commerce website.

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What was he talking about? The comments here didn't help much.

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There are many good reasons to not change the name. "Forgetting what happened there" is not one of them.

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He's the person 25% of Bostonians believed most qualified for the job. We get who you vote for.

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Remember Steve Locke, who wanted to create an art installation at the site of the slave trade at Faneuil Hall? If only the project was approved. Then we’d have a fuller account of the history.

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For black people on my side Walsh never cared about us. Since Menino been gone and policy’s change it has hurt my community and his non caring heart doesn’t miss a wink of sleep. Have Marty have one on me!

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So we all know the name of this doughy-faced motherfucker because he got rich trading slaves.
There is no other reason.
But it's really important that we keep the name for history, sure, ok.

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my Bible. I was just learning how to hold it too.

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"If we change the name of Faneuil Hall, 30 years from now, we'd forget what happened there," Walsh said at an afternoon press conference at City Hall.

I got $20 on no we won't.

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the finish line on boylston st. should be commemorated as: tsarnaev square lest we forget what happened there.

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You must not be from around here.

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edited.

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What happened there?

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then hopefully this racist remark gets dug up in 30 years and force a name change.

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