Richard Lee Morton was born 20 September 1889 in Prince Edward County, Virginia. He received his B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College in 1910 and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He also received an M.A. from Harvard. He came to the College of William and Mary as Associate Professor of History and Political Science and was made chairman of the History Department in 1921. Morton served as editor of the William and Mary Quarterly and wrote The Negro in Virginia Politics (1919), Virginia Since 1861 (1924) and Struggle Against Tyranny, Virginia 1677-1699 (1957) and Colonial Virginia (1960). Morton also edited an edition of Hugh Jones' Present State of Virginia. He retired in 1959 and died in 1974.