In a follow-up to last month's discovery of a time capsule under the dismantled statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, conservationists in Richmond, Virginia were excited to find a second time capsule about a week later. Fox5 in Washington, DC provided an overview of what transpired before the capsule's opening.
Historians had been looking for the 1887 copper box when they discovered the first, undocumented time capsule. While that discovery was certainly exciting, it wasn't what they were looking for. So, they kept digging a little deeper to reveal the second box in the cornerstone of the 20-foot statue that was disassembled in September. Then-Gov. Ralph Northam posted to social media saying, "They found it! This is likely the time capsule everyone was looking for." Using X-rays, the latest find revealed about 60 items, significantly more than the first and weighing about 36 pounds. Inside, they found buttons, a Bible, a few bullets commonly used during the Civil War, a Richmond directory, coins, books, letters and newspapers. Masonry items, small hand-carved wooden flags and an 1865 edition of Harper's Weekly, depicting a woman mourning over the casket of President Abraham Lincoln were also tucked inside.
Kate Ridgway, state archaeological conservator of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources worked with colleagues for about two hours to carefully extract the books and newspapers that had expanded over time. Ridgway joked, "Next time capsule, maybe not so much stuff in it! One less book!" She says items from the over 130 year-old time capsule will be preserved and catalogued before heading to their next home in the Commonwealth.