The Old Cradle of Liberty, the Pride of the "Hub."
Fanuuil hall, the old "Cradle of Liberty," was presented to the town of Boston by Peter Faneuil for the free use of the people. It was completed in September, 1742, and was 100 feet long and 40 feet wide, only half its present width, but large for those days. Three days after its completion it was formally accepted in public meeting and a vote of thanks passed to the donor. It was also voted that the hall should be called Faneuil hall forever. Peter Faneuil died six months after, and his funeral eulogy was the first public oration delivered in the hall.
"May liberty always spread her joyful wings over this place," said Master Lovell of the Latin school in his oration. It was a prophecy; but, sad to say, the prophet afterward turned Tory and loft Boston when it was evacuated by the British. The interior of the hall was destroyed by fire in 1763, but the town immediately voted to repair the damage. The first gathering on the day of the Boston tea party was held here, but the hall was too small to hold them all, and the meeting was adjourned to the Old South church.
During the siege of Boston the hall was turned into a theater by the British. The merchants of the city gave Lafayette a dinner here in 1784. In 1806 the hall was enlarged from 40 to 80 feet in width, and a third story was added. The hall is still used for public meetings and is also used as the rendezvous of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery company, whose history dates back to 1673. — Boston Traveller.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008