Lee time capsule not what was expected

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 4:10 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Experts Wednesday opened a time capsule from the 1880s that was found under the Robert E. Lee statue removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond.

The time capsule authorities expected to find in the pedestal was nothing like the one opened Wednesday by conservators in Richmond.

Newspapers in 1887, when the monument was built, described a large copper box with a number of items in it. This time capsule was made of lead, and held nothing like the objects described by the papers.

Rather, it seems to have been put there by the men who built the pedestal.

”It’s an interesting idea that the first of these capsules, the only one to be found, the first to be found, but not recorded in other records, is the workers’,” said Eric Wilson, Executive Director of the Rockbridge Historical Society. “So the workers produced this, and what they put in there has nothing to do with Lee.”

The fate of the larger capsule described in old newspapers remains a mystery.

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