RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Conservation experts in Virginia’s capital Tuesday pulled books, money, ammunition, documents and other artifacts from a time capsule found in the remnants of a pedestal that once held a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The lead conservator for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Kate Ridgway, said the measurements and material of the box, copper, match historical accounts. As the contents inside were unpacked, they appeared to match the description of the 1887 time capsule they had been looking for.
“It does appear that this is the box we expected,” she told reporters.
Records maintained by the Library of Virginia suggest that dozens of Richmond residents, organizations and businesses contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, including Confederate memorabilia.
The box was discovered and carefully extracted from the monument site a day earlier, marking the end of a long search for the elusive capsule. Ridgway said the box, which weighed 36 pounds, was found in water in a little alcove of the pedestal. The contents were damp, but “it’s not soup,” Ridgway said.
“I think it’s in better shape than we expected,” she said.
Historical records had led to some speculation that the capsule might contain a rare and historically significant photo of deceased President Abraham Lincoln. One line from a newspaper article listed among the contents a “picture of Lincoln lying in his coffin.”
On Tuesday, conservators found a printed image from an 1865 issue of Harper’s Weekly in the time capsule that Ridgway said seemed to show a figure grieving over Lincoln’s grave – but did not appear to be the much-anticipated photo.