Second Time Capsule Found in Robert E Lee Statue

A second time capsule was found underneath where the Robert E. Lee statue stood in Richmond, Virginia. Conservators studying the capsules and the historic period were looking for a time capsule under the statute, and it’s hopeful that this is the one being searched for. 

Under the pedestal of the statute, in what was desc robed by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as a “very wet area,” was a 36-pound copper box measuring 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.5 inches. The department’s director, Julie Langan, said that it was too soon to tell whether there was water damage inside the box. 

The box will be opened up on Tuesday afternoon, announced Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. 

Experts believe that inside, they will find books, coins, buttons, and potentially even ammunition from the Civil War, for which Robert E. Lee was a general for the Confederate side. 

A first time capsule was found inside of the pedestal. It was discovered earlier this month, on December 17, while experts dismantled the massive 40-foot pedestal. The first capsule was approximately 20 feet above the ground, while the second one was underground underneath the pedestal.

The first capsule was made out of lead and contained about 60 items that were donated by 37 local Richmond residents at the time, many of whom had ties directly to the Confederacy. Pieces inside the capsule included an 1875 almanac, two books, a coin, and a cloth envelope.

Historians have determined that the first capsule was placed inside the pedestal on Oct. 27, 1887.

The massive 12-ton statue of Lee riding his horse was officially removed in September. The statue has long been a focal point of racial justice activists and protests, especially in Richmond, which was the capital of the short-lived Confederacy.

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