Robert E. Lee statue time capsule: 1865 magazine clipping, Bible removed from second capsule found at former statue site in Richmond, Virginia
Articles inside included an 1865 edition of Harper’s Weekly magazine with a clear image of a figure weeping at Abraham Lincoln’s grave; a Bible with a coin stuck on it; and a Richmond directory.
Kate Ridgeway, archaeological curator from Virginia and who led the opening of the box, said the artifact was “a little wetter than we had hoped.”
The crews will now continue to work on the preservation and search for the artifacts that were found inside the capsule over the next few days and weeks.
History of the second time capsule
The copper box, according to DHR director Julie Langan, weighed 36 pounds and measured 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches by 7.5 inches and was found in an area of high humidity.
“We thought it would be soup, but it’s not soup,” Ridgeway said.
The capsule was then taken to DHR’s conservation lab where curators began to evaluate it, Langan said.
The Richmond Bomb Squad was first consulted to ensure it could be opened safely.
“This is a second time capsule and probably the one that is known to have been placed in the pedestal,” Langan said. “The one recovered last week was unexpected and probably left behind by men involved in the construction.”
The first time capsule found
The first capsule was found in the pedestal tower, about 20 feet above ground level. Among the items found inside were an 1875 almanac, two withered books, a coin, and a cloth envelope.
The state plans to store the pedestal until authorities decide what to do with the partial monument.
CNN’s Amir Vera, Paul P. Murphy, David Williams and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.