The second capsule was found in the granite base that once housed the statue of Robert E. Lee

Governor Ralph Northam announced that a second hypothetical time capsule was found Monday in the pedestal that formerly housed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee of Richmond, Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam announced.

Northam tweeted an image of the box being removed from the pedestal and said it was being studied and would not be opened today.

The newly discovered box may have been the time pill that some news accounts of the time said was buried when the pedestal was built in 1887. Stories say the box was buried along with dozens of objects such as Confederate artifacts, and historians have speculated that it may also contain a photograph depicting President Abraham Lincoln.

The statue of Lee on top of the pedestal was removed in September, and Northam’s government decided earlier this month to also remove the pedestal, as it is now covered in graffiti, and to return ownership. owns the land where the pedestal and statue used to be. back to the city of Richmond.

On December 17, the team working to remove the base found a box many believe to be an 1887 time capsule. However, after it was opened last week, conservators found only saw several books, a silver coin, and some kind of paper, leading them to assume that the box was placed on a pedestal by one or more of the people who built it, and that the time box is described in the calendar accounts. history may still be there somewhere.

Northam did not announce when the box would be opened or anything inside the box might be in good condition.

Virginia, Statue of Robert E. Lee, Time Capsule
A second box, believed to be possibly an 1887 time pill described in historical documents, was found at the site of a pedestal that once housed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. Above, a pile of rubble is all that remains after the pedestal is removed.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

The search for the 1887 time capsule had resumed the previous Monday.

Devon Henry, the contractor whose company oversaw the removal of the pedestal, said the box was found inside a layer of granite enclosing essentially at ground level, surrounded by building and construction materials. is different. According to Henry, workers pulled from the top of the granite enclosure to find the box, which appeared to be made of bronze, that was submerged in water.

The box was then wrapped in bubble wrap and transported by vehicle from the site for further study, he said.

The statue of Lee, depicting the general sitting on a horse, was erected on a high pedestal in 1890 in the former Confederate capital. Its removal in September comes more than a year after Northam ordered it amid protests that erupted after a police killing George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The statue is one of five colossal Confederate statues along Memorial Avenue, and the only one that belongs to the state. Four city-owned statues were taken down in 2020, but the removal of the Lee statue was prevented by two lawsuits until a ruling from Supreme Court of Virginia in September cleared the way for her scrapping.

The crews then searched the time capsule, dug and removed the giant stones, but were unable to locate it.

Henry said the box was found Monday in the northeast corner of the pedestal, about 4 feet (1.2 meters) from the original search area.

Northam’s administration said it would be on hold until “next steps” are determined.

Completion of removals at the site will likely take another week, Henry said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Virginia, Statue of Robert E. Lee, Time Capsule
The crew searched for a time capsule believed to have been buried in the statue’s pedestal in Richmond, Virginia. Above, workers build scaffolding around the pedestal in preparation for demolition on December 6.
Eze Amos / Getty Images The second capsule was found in the granite base that once housed the statue of Robert E. Lee

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