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New Project Seeks To Recognize Boston's Ties To Slavery

Faneuil Hall, of the most iconic buildings in Boston, where the earliest calls for independence from Britain were sounded in the late 1700s, is named for a man who owned and traded black slaves. Now a move to rename the historic structure is gaining momentum. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Faneuil Hall, of the most iconic buildings in Boston, where the earliest calls for independence from Britain were sounded in the late 1700s, is named for a man who owned and traded black slaves. Now a move to rename the historic structure is gaining momentum. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Boston is taking a step toward recognizing the role slavery played at Faneuil Hall, one of the city's most visited landmarks.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh's administration proposed spending $315,000 to restore 17th- and 18th-century artifacts found beneath Faneuil Hall as part of a project highlighting Boston's role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The proposal is among 56 community preservation projects worth $34 million that Walsh submitted to the City Council this month.

Kevin Peterson, of the New Democracy Coalition, praised the proposal but said Boston still needs to hold a public hearing on renaming the historic hall, which was financed by wealthy 18th-century slave owner Peter Faneuil.

Walsh has opposed the name change idea but has expressed support for establishing a slavery memorial at the site.

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