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New 1887 time capsule found deep under removed Robert E Lee statue


Northam, who ordered the statue removed in September after condemning it as a racist relic of the Lost Cause, was on a coronavirus-related call with the National Governors Association when word of the find arrived, Neely said.

The box was located beneath the north-east corner of the monument, which is where historians expected it to be, following Masonic tradition. Workers spent an entire day in September probing this spot but did not dig deeply enough into the granite rubble below the ground.

A smaller time capsule found inside the granite pedestal of the monument was opened last week to great fanfare, but it was apparent that it was not the official artefact that had been touted in historical news reports. The smaller box contained three books, at least one pamphlet, a photograph and a silver coin.

Three books and a coin and envelope were removed from the time capsule found earlier, believed to belong to the men who built the statue.

Three books and a coin and envelope were removed from the time capsule found earlier, believed to belong to the men who built the statue.Credit:AP

Most of the items appeared to relate to the men who designed or constructed the original monument. They were wet, but surprisingly intact, and are undergoing conservation so historians can better understand the tale they tell.

The bright copper box unearthed on Monday was quickly whisked away to the historic resources department, where conservators X-rayed it to gauge its condition and formulate a plan for getting it open. If the contents have been soaking in water, any paper items might have been severely damaged.

The Washington Post



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