LaNelle’s Story

At it’s most successful, Liberia was home to around 90 slaves. Research has been done into the lineages of some of those slaves, and at least one has been traced down to the present day.  On the day I toured the house we heard a presentation by LaNelle Naylor, a direct descendent of the Nelly whose name apprears in the lower right corner of the chart in this image.

Nelly was the wife of Samuel Naylor, a bricklayer who helped build Liberia for his master, William J. Weir.  Sometime in the 1850’s Samuel was able to buy his freedom, and later freedom for Nelly and their children.  He also bought a piece of the plantation land from his former master and started his own farm.  When the Weir family fled to Richmond to escape advancing Union troops in 1862, Samuel and Nelly remained as caretakers of the property.  This story, along with some other ancedotal evidence, suggests that the Weir family treated their slaves well, more like employees than property.

See the other Liberia images here.

Liberia House Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Liberia Plantation today.  When William Weir built Liberia in 1825 there wasn’t much else around, but he had a vision of a thriving community growing up around his new home.  To attract settlers he had postal service extended to the area, serving as postmaster himself.  He also struck a deal with the Orange and Alexandria Railroad that brought train service almost literally into his backyard, thus assuring quick transport to market for the plantation’s crops and livestock.  His efforts paid off as the plantation thrived prior to the American Civil War and the community that would eventually become Manassas, VA took root and started to grow.

A man wearing so many hats needed a place to conduct business, and this hutch with fold-down writing surface might have been just the place.  It had a space for everything, and was portable enough for a quick escape from advancing Yankee troops.

See the other images in the Liberia Plantation series here.

Lockheed P-38J Lightning

Back to the Udvar-Hazy Center today with the kids.  My goal was actually to get images of two other planes, but as I was walking across the central catwalk, I saw this.  I’ve shot this plane before, but for whatever reason just never got an angle I liked until now.

The P-38 saw service in both theaters during World War II, and is credited with downing more Japanese aircraft that any other U.S. fighter.  The four Browning .50 caliber machine guns and 20mm canon mounted in the nose gave the Lightning a definite edge in combat, and it’s speed, range, and handling made it a favorite among pilots.

Three exposures culled from a single RAW, then processed in Luminance HDR, with some finishing in Topaz Adjust 5.