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Robert E. The contents of the time capsule removed from the Lee statue pedestal were revealed

Richmond, come. – A rusty 1875 almanac, a cloth envelope and a silver coin were found Wednesday. One-time capsule It has been in Confederate General Robert E. Wright in Virginia for over 130 years. Hidden beneath the tall statue of Lee.

After five hours of state guards opening the capsule, many did not expect it, as it was just as interesting as the damaged items in the water. The motorized lead box was also a bit surprising.

Historical records have led many to believe that the capsule contained dozens of items related to Confederacy and a picture of the late President Abraham Lincoln. But in a matter of minutes, its contents were revealed and the ingredients were scarce.

There were three books in total. In addition to the Almanac, there was a torn book with a pink cover that appeared to be Collinson Pierrepont Edwards Burgwyn’s edition of “The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion”. He was a Richmond civil engineer who worked on projects on Memorial Avenue where the Lee statue was.

A pamphlet about water power facilities for the community town of Manchester, south of Richmond, also appeared.

Sue Donovan, Conservator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia, was born on December 22, 2021, in Confederate General Robert E. Snyder, Richmond. Lee works on the envelope removed from the time capsule found beneath the statue.Steve Helper / AB

Devon Henry, a contractor who has been working to remove the Lee statue and remove the pedestal in Richmond, said the second time the capsule had not yet been found.

“I’m just as interested,” he said, as conservators worked to open the capsule. “It was a great relief to find it. Secondly, we need to see if this is what we are looking for.

The day after the Lee statue Removed in September, Crews searched the time capsule at the base of the 40-foot-high pedestal for more than 12 hours but could not find it.

The time capsule embedded 20 feet high in the pedestal was discovered Friday.

Henry said his crew was still extra careful because the container, which opened Wednesday, did not match the description of the time capsule they expected.

A newspaper article in 1887 – the year the time capsule was embedded in the pedestal – suggested that the capsule contained Civil War monuments and a “picture of Lincoln lying in a coffin”. The Virginia Library records that 37 Richmond residents, companies and businesses contributed about 60 items to the capsule, many of which are believed to be affiliated with the Confederation.

The capsule at the time was believed to be a 14-by-14-by-8-inch copper box larger than the lead box pulled from the pedestal last week. The capsule, which was removed Friday, weighed 4-by-8-by-11.5 inches and was made of lead, except for a very small amount of material.

Julie Langan, director of the state Department of Historical Resources, said: “We were very surprised to find that something was amiss.

A team from the state Department of Historical Resources lists the artifacts and expects more details about their makeup and their possible appearance in a few days. The books are placed in the freezer to avoid mold and the silver coin, which begins to stain when opened, is placed in a dry place to control decay.

Before work began on Wednesday to open the capsule, Governor Nordham said Virginia did not need monuments glorifying the Confederacy.

“We are a Commonwealth that embraces diversity,” he said. “We are inclusive.”

The statue of Lee was erected in 1890 and has long been seen as a symbol of racial injustice in the former capital of the Confederacy. It was removed in September, more than a year after it was ordered by Northam following the outbreak of protests. George Floyd was killed by police In Minneapolis.

Lee Statue Richmond Monument is one of five federal tributes on Avenue and belongs to the state. Four statues owned by the city were removed in 2020, but the removal of the Lee statue was blocked by two lawsuits, and a Virginia Supreme Court ruling in September clarified the way to remove it.

Northam, a Democrat, announced earlier this month that the massive pedestal would be removed, which would be reversed from September, and when the governor said the pedestal would remain intact, its future would be determined by the community-based effort to redesign Monument Avenue.

After the assassination of Floyd in 2020, the Lee statue became the focal point of the ethnic justice movement in Richmond. Since then, the pedestal has been covered with graffiti, some of which are defamatory and most condemn the police. Some activists wanted it to be an anti-art work.

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