Antique photograph, cash and newspaper uncovered in second time capsule from Robert E. Lee statue

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Newspapers, images, cash and books have been amongst objects uncovered in a nineteenth century time capsule that was hidden beneath a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Virginia, historians introduced Tuesday. Another time capsule discovered beneath the identical statue and opened final week contained an almanac, fabric envelope and a silver coin. 

“It’s in better shape than we had expected,” mentioned Chelsea Blake, a conservator for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. “We thought everything was going to be soup and it’s not soup. So it’s pretty great.”

Conservators additionally unboxed a chunk of wooden with a bullet in it, handwritten letters, a number of books with vintage bookmarks, Confederate cash in an envelope, and a duplicate of {a photograph} of former President Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. 

Next, conservators will conduct a full stock of the artifacts, stabilize and protect them, they mentioned Tuesday. Officials assume the field was left by somebody who oversaw the monument’s preliminary building. 

Lee Statue Time Capsule
Conservators work on a field believed to be a time capsule left within the pedestal on the former web site of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on December 28, 2021.

Sarah Rankin / AP


The statue, which is situated in Richmond, was taken down this summer time, together with two different statues, following protests in opposition to racism and police brutality that erupted throughout the nation. Local officers determined the statue could be melted down and transformed into new paintings.

While working to take away the 40-foot pedestal, crews found a granite stone field earlier this month. Historians believed the capsule would maintain dozens of Confederacy-related objects nevertheless it didn’t. On Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam introduced the invention of a second time capsule.

Northam, who ordered the statue’s removing, changed the primary time capsule with a brand new one crafted by an area sculptor. 

“This monument and its time capsule reflected Virginia in 1890 — and it’s time to remove both so that our public spaces better reflect who we are as a people in 2021,” Northam mentioned in a assertion. “The past 18 months have seen historic change, from the pandemic to protests for racial justice that led to the removal of these monuments to a lost cause. It is fitting that we replace the old time capsule with a new one that tells that story.”

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