A Colorado couple with ties to the area recently donated $800,000 toward Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian initiative, the latest in their many contributions over the past 25 years.
Douglas Morton, a College of William and Mary alumnus, and Marilyn Brown, a Colorado Women’s College and honorary College of William and Mary alumna, value Colonial Williamsburg’s programming and want to see it continue.
Over the years, they have contributed to African American research and programming, Nation Builders programming, the Teacher Institute and the restoration of the St. George Tucker House gardens. They also donated the Thomas Jefferson sculpture that sits outside near the Kimball Theatre.
“We love Colonial Williamsburg. As we say, the future can learn from the past,” Brown said.
The recent $800,000 contribution has established the Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown American Indian Fund, which will provide program support for several years, according to a release. Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian initiative includes programming about Native American’s presence during the American Revolution in Williamsburg.
“The narratives of American Indians are an important part of Williamsburg’s history,” said Buck Woodard, manager of American Indian program development for Colonial Williamsburg, in a release. “The documentary record has provided a surprising amount of detail about Native peoples in Virginia during the 18th century. We strive to embrace the experiences of indigenous peoples and weave these stories into a series of insightful programs.”
Brown said she and her husband donated toward the American Indian initiative to ensure cultural authenticity and continued programming. She said African American and American Indian history are an integral part of the country’s past and something she wants to see continued in Colonial Williamsburg programming.
Brown has never lived in this area, but she and her husband Morton — who serves on the Colorado History Board of Directors — travel here frequently for William and Mary Homecoming and Charter Day, and to take part in the Raleigh Tavern Society, which is a Colonial Williamsburg group for donors to contribute to various programs and museums.
The couple is also interested in Revolutionary City and eating in the taverns to enjoy live entertainment. Their favorite thing to do is walk up and down Duke of Gloucester Street and visit the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Brown and Morton will be returning to the area in September, and Brown said she’s eager to see the “Threads of Feeling” exhibit.
Aside from travels to Colonial Williamsburg, Brown and Morton have also traveled to Gettysburg and Old Sturbridge Village. Brown said the historical depiction in Colonial Williamsburg is the best of what she has seen.
“We are grateful for the commitment to Colonial Williamsburg programming the Morton-Browns have made over the years,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in a release. “Their continued support ensures that we can include the important story of Native Americans in the founding of our country for generations to come.”