Dec 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Virginia historians open second time capsule found under Lee statue

A researcher uncovers a second time capsule that was stored at the base of a Robert E. Lee statue.
A second time capsule that was stored at the former site of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond is uncovered on Monday. Photo: Office of the Governor of Virginia/Twitter

Virginia officials on Tuesday opened a second time capsule found at the former site of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond and found Confederate money, a bible, copper coins and more.

Driving the news: On Monday, officials found a second time capsule, and last week, Virginia historians opened a capsule they believed to date to 1887, though it did not hold highly anticipated contents related to the Confederacy.

  • Historians have been looking for a time capsule with 60 objects detailed in an 1887 newspaper article, including possibly a rare photo of Abraham Lincoln in his coffin that was documented in the report. But, the capsule opened Tuesday did not contain the items historians were looking for.

Catch up quick: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday historians found a second container 11 days after finding the first one, which held books and a British coin, among other objects.

  • The newly discovered capsule is made from copper and matches the size listed in historical records. Northam said initial X-rays show there may be books, coins, buttons and ammunition from the Civil War among in the container.

Flashback: The statue of Virginia's Robert E. Lee was one of dozens of Confederate monuments to come down after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 sparked protests for racial justice.

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