Faneuil Hall – Boston


Faneuil Hall where George Washington oil portrait by Gilbert Stuart and portrait of Peter Faneuil by Henry Sargent both donated to the City of Boston on July 4th 1806 by Samuel Parkman is also displayed. 

faneuil hall night

Often referred to as “the home of free speech” and the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall hosted America’s first Town Meeting. The Hall’s vital role in revolutionary politics had not been part of its original plans, but it became home to an intricate collection of events that shaped the nation’s history. Built by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil as a center of commerce in 1741, this is where the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their dissent against Royal oppression. Faneuil Hall has served as an open forum meeting hall and marketplace for more than 270 years and has continued to provide a forum for debate on the most consequential issues of the day.

It was at Faneuil Hall in 1764 that Americans first protested against the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act, setting the doctrine that would come to be known as “no taxation without representation.” Gatherings to protest the Townshend Acts, the Redcoat occupation, and the Tea Act would follow.

THE GRASSHOPPER The most famous weathervane in Boston is Faneuil Hall’s golden grasshopper. Peter Faneuil commissioned the grasshopper from acclaimed craftsman Shem Drowne, whose weathervane also tops the Old North Church. Tradition has it that the weathervane was used during the War of 1812 to spot spies. Anyone who did not know the answer to the question “what is on top of Faneuil Hall?” in those days invited suspicion.

LAND OF THE FREE Twenty four times a year, between 300 to 500 new citizens take the Oath of Allegiance at Faneuil Hall and are sworn in as new citizens.

SHOP-TIL YOU DROP Don’t mix up historic Faneuil Hall with Faneuil Hall Marketplace – the bustling commercial center located just behind historic Faneuil Hall. The series of restored 19th Century buildings is the most visited location in Boston.

freedom trail boston

Freedom Trail Foundation tours that feature this site:
Walk Into History Tour
Walk Into History Tours — North End
Historic Holiday Stroll
African-American Patriots Tour
Historic Pub Crawl
Pirates & Patriots Tour

Faneuil Hall – Boston National Historical Park
Open Daily 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day
Historical talks every thirty minutes, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Faneuil Hall 1_faneuil_hall_meeting_hall_2010

George Washington oil portrait by Gilbert Stuart donated on 4th July 1806 by Samuel Parkman at Faneuil Hall – see above painting at bottom right.



George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Boston Museum of fine Arts

Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to paint a full length oil portrait of U.S. President George Washington, which Samuel later gifted to the Town of Boston on the 30th anniversary of the signing of The Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1806 where the painting hung in the Faneuil Hall and now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The painting by Gilbert Stuart is of George Washington ,in Dorchester Heights, full-length in uniform, standing by a white horse, holding his bridle in his left hand and his chapeau in his right.

This oil painting is approximately 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide.


The full-length Washington, on the other side of the great painting, is a Gilbert Stuart. It, also, was presented to the town by Samuel Parkman, in 1806. :,+boston+museum+of+fine+arts&source=bl&ots=jaxkhkLxJx&sig=h3Yc-WYm8l2towZ1r2V-hTj5HJA&hl=en&ei=EBrbSYiBFIOIyAXKp4TCCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6



Samuel Parkman commissioned Gilbert Stuart to create this life sized oil painting than hung at Faneuil Hall (see above the bottom right side painting) that now is on display at The Boston Museum of Fine Art.


George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA 1

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC168397

George Washington Samuel Parkman Gilbert Stuart BMFA Feb 2015 SC240634

Washington at Dorchester Heights

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828)


274.95 x 180.34 cm (108 1/4 x 71 in.)


L-R 30.76a


Oil on panel


Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Gallery 133)






The artist; commissioned for the town of Boston by Samuel Parkman, 1806; deposited by the City of Boston, 1876.

Credit Line

Deposited by the City of Boston


See this Video at the 1:56 minute mark filmed at Faneuil Hall in Boston where the George Washington Oil Painting by Gilbert Stuart hung at the time. (shame on Mitt Romney’s “liberal views”) : 

George Washington Gilbert Stuart Samuel Parkman Faneuil Hall 1_faneuil_hall_meeting_hall_2010.JPG

George Washington as seen in Faneuil Hall see above the bottom right painting.




Peter Faneuil donated by Samuel Parkman

The namesake to Boston’s celebrated Faneuil Hall, Peter Faneuil (1700-1743) was a wealthy Bostonian who made his fortune as a merchant in the slave trade. He was born in New Rochelle, New York, and moved to Boston as a young man to join his uncle in the shipping business, which he eventually inherited. While Faneuil had a reputation for living well, he was also known as a considerate employer and a generous public benefactor. In 1740, he offered to build Boston a public market house; it was finished a few months before his death and was subsequently named “Faneuil Hall” in his honor. John Smibert (1688-1751), Faneuil Hall’s first architect, painted a posthumous portrait of Peter Faneuil to be hung in the original hall. This painting was damaged in the great fire of  1761, but was rehung in the next incarnation of the hall. This particular painting had another run of poor luck when it was further damaged in a 1775 demonstation by patriots against members of the Faneuil family – who had lost much of their popularity when they joined the British evacuation of Boston. Smibert’s portrait of Peter Faneuil was then copied by Henry Sargent (1770-1845) in 1807, in order to preserve the likeness of the deteriorating original. This is the painting that is displayed today, a gift to Faneuil Hall by Samuel Parkman.


Samuel Parkman


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