Second Time Capsule Found Beneath Robert E Lee Statue

Another time capsule has been found beneath the statue of Robert E. Lee that has been taken down. 

From The Washington Examiner:

A second time capsule was recovered at the former site of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, this time from beneath the statue’s pedestal.

This time capsule, a 36-pound copper box, appears to be the real deal after historians found a separate container in the pedestal that did not match the 1887 time capsule they had expected.

After being checked by Richmond’s bomb squad to make sure it was safe to open, the capsule was taken to the conservation lab at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which will “try to determine how the box is sealed and whether the seal has been breached,” Julie Langan, the department director, told CNN.

Here is what is supposed to be in the time capsule.


Historians believe a copper time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the Robert E. Lee monument pedestal on October 27, 1887. Records from the Library of Virginia suggest that 37 Richmond residents, organizations, and business contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which are believed to be related to the confederacy. Below is an article from the Richmond Dispatch dated October 26, 1887, describing the original capsule’s contents.

time capsule article

On March 22, 2021, Historic Jamestown, an entity of Preservation Virginia, conducted a scan of the pedestal and identified a void in the base where the time capsule is likely housed. The Department of General Services analyzed the results of the scan and concluded that the time capsule can be removed and replaced without damaging the fidelity of the structure.

Precautions will be taken upon the removal of the capsule to ensure the contents’ appropriate treatment by a qualified conservator. The capsule and its contents will be transferred for safekeeping at the Department of Historic Resources’ conservation lab, where expert staff can oversee the examination of the contents.

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