Among the oldest settled areas of Texas, several hundred Anglo-Americans established farms in the 1820s on Mexican land grants. The town was laid out in 1831 and named Villa de la Santissima Trinidad de la Libertad, which was quickly shortened to Liberty by English-speaking residents. William B. Travis, Sam Houston and David Burnet all practiced law in Liberty. Three brothers from Liberty died at the Alamo, and about 50 Liberty citizens fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, when Texas won its independence.
Seat of Liberty County, the town was a busy port when steamboats plied the Trinity River in the late 19th century. Today, it is a farming-ranching community with substantial oil production dating from 1925. Each March the "Liberty Jubilee" is held downtown.