Once again, the musical 1776 failed to properly portray one of the Founding Fathers. In the movie, Mr. Lee is comical relief. His reason for not being on the committee for the writing of the Declaration of Independence was because he was called home due to illness in his family.
He attended school in England and was an avid reader, devouring every book he could find, returning home at 19 years of age. I found this description fascinating: "Associated with him, was the powerful Patrick Henry, whose stormy eloquence strongly contrasted with the sweet-toned and persuasive rhetoric of Lee, but when they united their powers the shock was always irresistible." Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence reprint from the original in 1848 by B.J. Lossing.
What a remarkable man. He was involved and committed. The people trusted and revered him, and he proved himself worthy. He died at 64 and was considered a ripe old age. Times have changed.
I'm so glad I decided to investigate the Founding Fathers. I've learned so much. I wish I'd learned about them though not as the recent historians with a 20th Century point of view and Hollywood have re-written them. I think someone who wrote of them in 1848 knew the recent history better than those who lived 100 years later.