In 1825 Harriett Bladen Mitchell Weir and her husband William James Weir built the house that would become known as Liberia. On the eve of the Civil War the plantation had grown into one of the largest and most successful in western Prince William County. With the labor of 90 slaves the plantation produced grains and vegetables and raised sheep, horses, cattle, and hogs.
In 1861 Liberia became the headquarters for Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard, and it also played a role in wartime espionage. The house became the military headquarters of Union General Irvin McDowell in 1862. It was during this period that President Abraham Lincoln came to Liberia to confer with his general.
In 1888 Robert Portner, a wealthy brewer, banker, and shipper from Alexandria bought the property and created a successful dairy there. It was sold to the Breeden family in 1947, who donated the house and land to the City of Manassas in 1986.
The first phase of interior restoration is complete and exterior restoration is underway. The house is open for special events and tours. For more information about Liberia Plantation House and its programs or to make a contribution toward its restoration please visit www.manassasmuseum.org or call 703-368-1873.