Second time capsule found under Robert E. Lee statue

Workers retrieve a chest believed to be an 1887 time capsule that was placed under the pedestal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, December 27, 2021.

Workers retrieve a chest believed to be an 1887 time capsule that was placed under the pedestal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, December 27, 2021.
Photo: Eva Russo/Richmond Times-Dispatch (AP)

The workers who dismantled the pedestal of the Robert E. This discovery comes after a different time capsule was opened at the site last week But it was full of boring documents and wet envelopes, unfortunately common For many time capsules opened here in the twenty-first century.

A statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general and traitor to the United States, was removed in September and workers dismantled the site, including the pedestal where a time capsule was rumored to exist. Workers now believe that this second capsule discovered on Monday is the one that could contain some interesting historical pieces, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The time capsule will open at 1:00 p.m. ET, according to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. The governor’s office notes that a live video will be made available, but it’s not clear where people can watch the event.

What could be inside this strange time capsule? Historians believe there may have been as many as 60 objects from the Confederacy, including a rare portrait of slain President Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin. Why would a group of Confederate losers put a picture of Lincoln in his coffin inside a time capsule that was honoring me? Because they were celebrating the distorted ideals of the Confederacy, most notably slavery.

From Richmond Times Dispatch:

Historians have described the articles as Confederate propaganda. Dale Broomfield, an author and historian who has studied the history of the capsule, said the picture of Lincoln in his coffin was another way for the South to hate the Union and persist in the lost cause idea.

There is only one original posthumous portrait of Lincoln, Broomfield wrote in an article published in Richmond magazine in 2017.. It was taken by Jeremiah Gurney in New York in 1865 while Lincoln’s body was on its way to burial.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch published a list of possible items in the time capsule that were discovered in a newspaper article from 1887, when the capsule was first buried, Including:

  • Portrait of Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin donated by Patty Lake;
  • History of the Monumental Church Donated by George Fisher;
  • Confederate button set by Cyrus Bossieux;
  • A copy of Carlton McCarthy’s “Detailed Detail of a Soldier’s Life in the Army of Northern Virginia”, provided by J.W. Randolph and English Publishers;
  • A guide to Richmond with a map of the city and a map of Virginia;
  • Three bullets, a piece of projectile and a small ball lodged in a piece of wood from the Fredericksburg Battlefield, provided by Frank Brown;
  • The Bible of Thomas J. stark;
  • Richmond City Statistics from J.B. Halyburton;
  • Battle flag, square and compass made of a tree over the grave of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson by JW Tally;
  • $100,000 Confederate Bonds from John F. Mayer;
  • 1812 English penny from W.T. Moseley;
  • October 26, 1887 edition of the Richmond Dispatch.

Time capsules tend to frustrate people’s hopes for the future for two reasons: 1) People in the past often exaggerated how awesome it was to find lists of prominent business and political leaders, miscellaneous coins, and countless gospels. And 2) burying something in the ground is one of the worst ways to preserve something for history. As a result, it is often a file soggy mess Because water usually penetrates whatever box was used, no matter how carefully it was built.

A photo of the article titled The second capsule found under a statue of Robert E. Lee raises hopes it might be fun

Photo: Eva Russo/Richmond Times-Dispatch (AP)

But there is still a possibility that this time capsule may not be “correct” either. Dimensions are still a bit off the size of the time capsule described in a newspaper article from 1887, which said a 14” x 14” x 8” copper box was buried at the site. The dimensions of the copper box discovered on Monday were 13.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches and were not in the exact location described in the article.

Whatever happened during today’s capsule opening ceremony, at least Robert E. Lee and his modern-day followers are dead crying their smallest tears over the removal of his statue. Former President Donald Trump, as just one example, complained about remove the statue.

The Confederacy is dead. Get over it, losers.

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