A SECOND time capsule was found buried beneath a pedestal where a statue of Confederate Gen Robert E Lee once stood.

“They’ve found it!” tweeted Virginia governor Ralph Northam. “This is likely the time capsule everyone was looking for. Conservators studying it—stay tuned for next steps!”

Several photos of the time capsule were also posted with the tweet, leaving many wondering what was inside.

“X-rays give a first look inside the time capsule: Experts believe there may be coins, books, buttons, and even ammunition from the Civil War,” tweeted Northam.

Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, said the capsule was brought to a conservation lab for conservators to assess it.

“Next we will try to determine how the box is sealed and whether the seal has been breached,” she said.

Two paper conservators will be present when the box is opened, according to Langan.

“It is a second time capsule and likely the one that was known to have been placed in the pedestal,” she said. “The one recovered last week was unexpected and likely left by men involved in the construction.

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The first time capsule was found on December 17, after four years of rumors a time capsule from 1887 containing a rare photo of Abraham Lincoln in his coffin beneath the statue of Lee.

However, a new problem arose when it was discovered that the capsule was hidden inside a 1,500-pound block of granite.

On December 22, after five hours of carefully removing the granite, Gov. Northam was able to lift the lid of the capsule on Wednesday.

Inside were various items: an 1875 almanac, a water-damaged book, a British coin, a catalog, a letter and a photograph of James Netherwood, a stonemason who worked on the pedestal.

Langan called the discovery an “odd assortment.”

“We have not yet made sense of why this assortment was placed in the box,” she said.  

Unfortunately, this time capsule was not the one said to have the rumored photo of Lincoln.

“I’m not disappointed in how this day has gone,” said Langan. “because it’s been really wonderful to see people get so excited about history.”


The second time capsule will be opened on Tuesday, December 28.

“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.” read a press release from the governor’s office.

“Space will be extremely limited. A live video will be provided via pool camera. Details will be available in the morning.”

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