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Mystery lingers after 1887 time capsule found in pedestal of Robert E. Lee statue is opened

The time capsule was found in December by crews working to remove the statue's pedestal. The square box was embedded in a 2,000-pound granite block.

RICHMOND, Va. — A rust-colored 1875 almanac, a cloth envelope, and a silver coin have been found in a time capsule hidden beneath a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Virginia for more than 130 years.

Another book appeared to an edition of "The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion."

The time capsule was embedded in the pedestal of the Lee statue in Richmond. But the capsule opened Wednesday was not what many here were expecting. A newspaper article from 1887 suggested that the capsule contained Civil War memorabilia and a "picture of Lincoln lying in his coffin."

The massive bronze equestrian statue of Lee was long seen as a symbol of racial injustice in the former capital of the Confederacy. 

It was taken down in September. 

The time capsule was found Friday by crews working to remove the statue's pedestal. The square box was embedded in a 2,000-pound granite block. 

Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber
Three books and a coin and envelope were removed from a time capsule that was removed from the pedestal that once held the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Ave. Wednesday Dec. 22, 2021, in Richmond, Va.

    

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