Crews found a time capsule believed to be from 1887 in a pedestal in Richmond that once held a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“Records from the Library of Virginia suggest that 37 Richmond residents, organizations, and businesses contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which are believed to be related to the Confederacy,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D)’s office said in a statement on Monday.
The box, which is set to be opened on Tuesday afternoon, had been searched for for months and is thought to possibly contain a rare photo of former President Abraham Lincoln as well as other artifacts and Confederate memorabilia. It is believed to be a box that was placed during a cornerstone-laying ceremony in 1887, according to The Associated Press.
“They found it! This is likely the time capsule everyone was looking for,” the governor tweeted on Monday.
They found it! This is likely the time capsule everyone was looking for. Conservators studying it—stay tuned for next steps! (Won’t be opened today) pic.twitter.com/3lWrsPGZd2
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) December 27, 2021
Days ago, crews located another time capsule believed to have been the one from 1887, but that box only contained water-damaged books, a silver coin and an envelope with some papers, the AP added.
The Lee statue was erected in 1890 and removed in September over a year after Northam ordered its removal amid protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin.
Northam initially intended to leave the pedestal in place but announced in early December that it would be removed and stored until next steps were determined, the wire service also said.