1887 Time Capsule Found Buried Under Robert. E. Lee Statue To Be Opened


Time Capsule Under Statue of Robert E Lee - Steve Helber/AP/AlamySteve Helber/AP/Alamy

A 134-year-old time capsule was discovered buried underneath the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and is now set to be opened. 

In September, the 131-year-old bronze equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, located in Richmond, was taken down from Monument Avenue following protests after the death of George Floyd. It had been viewed by many as a symbol of racial injustice.


However, on Friday, December 17, a time capsule dating back to 1887 was found underneath the statue, and today, December 22, it is set to be opened in front of the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam.

Time Capsule Discovered Under Robert E. Lee - Alamy Alamy

The capsule was first removed from the granite pedestal on Tuesday, December 21, Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

The capsule was uncovered inside a square box, which had been embedded 20 feet up inside the granite block, which weighed 1,500 pounds, according to the director of the Department of Historic Resources, Julie Langan.


The capsule is believed to contain memorabilia from the Civil War, and even a rare picture of Abraham Lincoln lying in his coffin.

It is thought to have first been placed in the pedestal two years before the statue’s erection and reveal in 1890.

The capsule is thought to contain around 60 objects from 37 residents, businesses and other organisations from Richmond, according to records from the Library of Virginia, ABC News reports.


On Friday, Northam’s chief of staff, Clerk Mercer, stated:

We’re hoping it hasn’t been damaged by water over the last 100-plus years.

The opening of the capsule is set to be performed by a historic preservation team at a lab in the Department of Historic Resources in Richmond.

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Topics: News, Now, statue, Virginia


ABC News and 1 other
  1. ABC News

    1887 time capsule found at base of Lee statue to be opened

  2. Richmond Times-Dispatch

    After 134 years, Lee statue's time capsule will be opened on Wednesday

Poppy Bilderbeck
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