The second time a capsule was found under a statue of Robert E. Lee

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Workers find a box believed to be a time capsule from 1887 that was placed under the pedestal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Va., December 27, 2021.

Workers find a box believed to be a time capsule from 1887 that was placed under the pedestal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Va., December 27, 2021.
Photography: Eva Russo / Richmond Times-Dispatch (AP)

Workers dismantling the pedestal of a statue of Robert E. Lee currently being removed in Virginia unveiled a second time capsule on Monday, raising hopes that the 1887 box could contain something interesting. The discovery comes after another time capsule was opened at the site last week but it was filled with nothing but annoying documents and wet envelopes, unfortunately common occurrence for many time capsules opened here in the 21st century.

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

The time capsule will open at 1 p.m. ET, according to the Virginia Governorate. Ralph Northam. The governor’s office notes that a live video will be delivered, but it is not clear where people could watch the event.

What could be inside this strange time capsule? Historians believe there could be approximately 60 items from the Confederacy, including a rare photograph of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin. Why would a bunch of Confederate losers put a photo of Lincoln in his coffin inside a time capsule that paid tribute to Lee? Because they celebrated the distorted ideals of the Confederacy, mostly slavery.

From Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Historians have described the articles as Confederate propaganda. The image of Lincoln in his coffin was another way for the South to oppose the Union and continue the idea of ​​a lost cause, said Dale Brumfield, an author and historian who has studied the history of the capsule.

There’s only one real photo of Lincoln after his death, Brumfield wrote in a 2017 Richmond Magazine article. It was filmed in 1865 in New York by Jeremiah Gurney 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 interred, including:

  • A picture of Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin donated by Pattie Leake;
  • History of the Monumental Church donated by George Fisher;
  • Confederate Button Collection by Cyrus Bossieux;
  • A copy of Carlton McCarthy’s book “Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia” provided by JW Randolph & English publishers;
  • A guide to Richmond with a map of the city and a map of Virginia;
  • Three bullets, a piece of shell casing and a Minié ball stuck in a piece of wood from the battlefield in Fredericksburg, given by Frank Brown;
  • Thomas J. Starke Bible;
  • Richmond City Statistics by JB Halyburton;
  • A battle flag and a square and compass made of wood above the tomb of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson of JW Talley;
  • A $ 100,000 Confederate bond from John F. Mayer;
  • English Penny from 1812 by WT Moseley;
  • The Richmond Dispatch of October 26, 1887.

Time capsules tend to disappoint people in the future for two reasons: 1) People from the past often overestimate how fascinating we will be with their lists of prominent businessmen and political leaders, various coins and countless bibles. And 2) Burying something in the ground is one of the worst ways to preserve something for history. As a result, they are often a sour mess because water usually penetrates into any box that is used, no matter how carefully made.

Image for the article entitled The second time a capsule was found under the statue of Robert E. Lee, raises hopes that it might be interesting

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

But there is still the possibility that this time capsule may not be the “right one”. The dimensions are still slightly smaller than the size of the time capsule described in a newspaper article from 1887, which states that a copper box measuring 14 x 14 x 8 inches 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 time capsule opening ceremony, at least Robert E. Lee is dead, and his modern followers are crying their little tears over the removal of his statue. Former President Donald Trump, as just one example, lamented about it statue removal.

The Confederacy is dead. Get over it, losers.

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