The building is named after Peter Faneuil.
In 1740, Peter Faneuil proposed to build a market place at his own expense. This building was destroyed by fire and the present structure erected in 1762, and in 1805 enlarged to the present size.
It was dedicated to the cause of liberty by James Otis, Jr., an apostle of freedom, In a speech delivered by him in the hall in 1763. The lower part is used for a market place, and above is Faneuil Hall, known as the "Cradle of Liberty." This hall is used chiefly as a place for political meetings and public gatherings. The old walls have echoed to voices of past and present fame, for in every public event, people assemble here, and many subjects of national and home importance have been and are today, discussed by eloquent and famous speakers.
The first public oration delivered In the hall was a funeral eulogy on the death of Peter Faneuil, March 14, 1743, and the Hall was used as a meeting place for patriot leaders in the lead up to the Boston Tea Party.
During the winters of 1775-76, British troops were quartered here, and the officers fitted up the hall into a theater devoted chiefly to performances ridiculing the Patriots.
It is now, and always has been, the rendezvous of the oldest band of citizen soldiers in America, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. Some notable people have been entertained by Boston citizens, among them, Lafayette in 1784 and Jerome Bonaparte in 1804, who dined within the hospitable walls. President Jackson held a reception in the hall while on a visit to Boston. While the market walls are decorated by stalls, containing eatables of every variety, the walls of the hall above are hung with the portraits by famous artists of persons of historic interest, among them, Webster, Hancock, Adams, Peter Faneuil, Lincoln, Choate and many others.
The name Faneuil is most commonly pronounced like the name "Daniel", though some pronounce it as Fan-yoo-ul.
- Faneuil Hall, National Park Service