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This is an image of Boston Nationial Historical Park: Faneuil Hall

Boston Nationial Historical Park

In early 18th-century Boston a number of merchant families amassed great wealth through shipping and trade. Codfish, caught off the coast, were dried, salted, and traded in the West Indies for molasses and rum. These products were, in turn, exchanged in Europe for manufactured goods, or, along the west coast of Africa, for slaves. One of the wealthiest Boston merchants of this era was Peter Faneuil.

Faneuil proposed to mark his success by building a central food market in his hometown. The merits of establishing a permanent marketplace had long been debated in Boston and all previous attempts had failed. Boston's voters accepted Faneuil's proposal only after much heated debate and by a slim majority. The building as finally constructed in 1742 included not only an open market but also a meeting space suitable for town gatherings. The hall, named for Faneuil, was built on land gained by the filling of the small cove near the ancient and dilapidated town dock.

Into the 20th Century, Faneuil Hall has remained an active and important place for Bostonians. In the early 19th century the three granite structures of the Quincy Market were built to the east of the Hall. These, along with Faneuil Hall's market stalls, continued to be Boston's wholesale food distribution center until the 1960s. During the 1970s the entire Faneuil Hall area underwent a major renewal, and today the stalls purvey food to thousands of visitors each day.

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