Wellington-on-the-Potomac is on the Fort Hunt road half-way between Mount Vernon and Alexandria. The house was built prior to 1760 and it was occupied by Colonel Tobias Lear who, for nearly fourteen years, was private and military secretary to General Washington and also private tutor to his adopted children, George W. Park Custis and his sister Nelly. In 1805 Lear was United States Commissioner to treat with the hostile powers of the Barbary States at the time of the memorable expedition of General Eaton.
By a provision of Washington’s will Colonel Lear was to be tenant of the house and premises rent free until his death. This was in consideration of his great service to him, especially during his presidency. Lear died in 1816. Afterwards the estate was occupied by two generations of the Washington family, Charles A. Washington, a grandnephew, being the last to reside there in 1859.
The present owners are Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Matheson, who bought the place in 1920. There is no trace of the lines of the original garden, but the modern garden constructed by the present owners seems to give pleasure to the many who visit Wellington.