Virginia’s 19th-century time capsule was found under a statue of Robert E. Lee. That is not what historians expect.

Workers in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday clear the last granite slabs of the mammoth column there, until September, organize a giant statue by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Across town at the state Department of Historical Resources lab, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) and conservators Chelsea Blake and Kate Ridgway spent hours Carefully open a 19th century time capsule sixth discovery inside the granite pedestal.

Northam’s office has guess The time member would be the 1887 bronze box written in the newspapers of the day, packed with Confederate propaganda and, most tantalizingly, an extremely rare photograph of President Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. Finally, when Northam pry open the lid of the lead can on Wednesday afternoon, it is not.

To replace, washington articles report, historians have found a year 1875 Maritime History and American Diary, a copy of the romance novel The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion from 1889, a maroon envelope too wet to open, a booklet from an 1888 waterworks project, a Victorian British coin, and a soggy envelope containing a ghost photograph monster of the master stonemason who made the column.

“We have questions,” Ridgway said after the object has been removed. However, local historian Dale Brumfield had a theory. Given the stoneworker’s photo and the fact that Huguenot . lovers and the waterworks pamphlet were both written by the engineer who designed the traffic circle around the statue of Lee, “it was a frivolous project”, he speculated. “This is like a ride of the ego,” which its builders placed 20 feet high inside the pedestal in their honor.

It’s unclear what happened to the official time capsule, to the rare Lincoln photograph, or whether it even exists. But Devon Henry, the contractor is removing the pedestal after having remove the statue and most of Richmond’s other Confederate memorials, suggesting it may have remained in the traditional Masonic location, under the northeast corner of the tower. “We think we have an idea of ​​where it is,” he told Post. “It just depends on what the state wants to do with exploratory exercises at this point.” Virginia’s 19th-century time capsule was found under a statue of Robert E. Lee. That is not what historians expect.


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