RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) — Historians believe a time capsule containing many artifacts related to the Confederacy was placed in the cornerstone of the Robert. E Lee statue's pedestal in Richmond.
With the removal of the Confederate monument on Wednesday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a new capsule will replace the old one.
"I am hopeful that future generations will see my photograph and understand what we stood up for."
RELATED: Richmond's Lee statue, largest Confederate statue in US, to come down Wednesday
“This monument and its time capsule reflected Virginia in 1890—and it’s time to remove both, so that our public spaces better reflect who we are as a people in 2021,” said Governor Northam. “The past 18 months have seen historic change, from the pandemic to protests for racial justice that led to the removal of these monuments to a lost cause. It is fitting that we replace the old time capsule with a new one that tells that story.”
The new capsule, crafted by Richmond Sculptor Paul DiPasquale, will be placed in the statue's base. If the base is removed later, the capsule will be buried nearby.
“The 1887 capsule we will remove this week offers us an incisive bite of time when the Lee Monument was erected. Now in 2021, this capsule gives future Virginians artifacts of the tectonic transition that has happened to us,” said DiPasquale. “The pedestal marks the past and has a new message for the future: we, all of us, are the New Virginia.”
SEE ALSO: GALLERY: The removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue and time capsule replacement
Artifacts for the new time capsule were suggested by members of the public and narrowed down by a committee of historians and members of Governor Northam’s cabinet.
This monument and its time capsule reflected Virginia in 1890—and it’s time to remove both.
The 39 artifacts that will be placed inside the time capsule include:
- “Ballerina at the Lee Statue” photo taken on June 5th, 2020, captured and submitted by Marcus Ingram
- Expired Vial of COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine and CDC Vaccination Record Card suggested by Craig Fifer and contributed by the Virginia Department of Health
- National Geographic Special Issue “2020 in Pictures” with cover image of Lee Monument in Richmond, VA suggested by Hope Wolf submitted by Connor Freche
- “Black Lives Matter” sticker submitted by Tangee Augustin and Abby Admete
- Collection of Michael Paul Williams’ Pulitzer prize-winning columns on Monument Avenue suggested by Michael Baker and contributed by Michael Paul Williams
- "Writing a new history" Kente cloth worn by the Commissioners of the Congressionally-chartered 400 Years of African-American History Commission and Ghanian emissaries that participated in the 400th commemoration of 1619 at Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, now part of Fort Monroe National Monument, submitted by Governor Ralph S. Northam
- "New Virginians" booklet with portraits of 24 immigrants whose interviews formed the core of the Library of Virginia’s 2020 exhibition, submitted by the Library of Virginia
- General Assembly Acts of Assembly from the 2020 Special Session submitted by Senator Jennifer McClellan
- Virginia is for Lovers “pride” pin and sticker submitted by Virginia Tourism Commission
- “the protagonist” poem in uncontracted Unified English Braille written and submitted by Laura Minning
- “Better Together” LED Board coded by middle school girls at Patrick Henry Community College and submitted by Amanda Broome
- VA Ratify ERA sash and ERA 2020 pins submitted by Christine DeRosa and Julia Tanner
- “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” pink heart print found on Broad Street in front of the Institute of Contemporary Art on May 30, 2020 after a night of protests in Richmond, created by Studio Two Three and submitted by the Teele-Jordan Family
- Election Officer Badge for 2020 General Election submitted by Stephanie Hunter
- “Monument Avenue” Hip Hop Album by Noah-O and Taylor Whitelow suggested by DeMario Spurlock and contributed by Noah-O
- Prayer beads left by a family member who passed away from COVID-19 submitted by Tanzing Lahdon
- Danville Public Schools “First Lady” face mask submitted by First Lady Pamela Northam
- Photos of the June 4, 2020 press conference announcing the removal of the Lee Statue taken by Jack Mayer and submitted by Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam
- Steel railroad spike talking piece found near African Ancestral Burial Ground in Shockoe Bottom and used to promote conversations on racial healing, submitted by Coming to the Table RVA
- Photos and fliers from “Stop Asian Hate” protests in May 2021 submitted by Shawn Soares
- Program and video from the dedication of Arthur Ashe Boulevard featuring a keynote from former Congressman John Lewis submitted by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture
- Letter describing VUUs history and commitment to the Richmond community written and submitted by Virginia Union University’s Student Government Association President Joydan Lyons Parker
- Photo of the Virginia State Police at 14th and F Street NW in Washington helping DC Metro Police Department patrol the city for unrest after the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, submitted by Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam
- Essays and poems from Arcadia Middle School students reflecting on the experience of being a student during a pandemic submitted by the Eastern Shore Public Library
- Senate Resolution Commending the League of Women's Voters agreed to by the Senate on February 6, 2020 to commemorate LWV’s centennial and the centennial of the 19th amendment, submitted by the 2019-2021 LWV Board of Directors
- “Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Monument is Coming Down, Thanks to Me and Black Women Like Me” July 10, 2021 Teen Vogue article written and submitted by Zyahna Bryant
- Hard copy of the Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa Igloria's work "Dear America" presented during Governor Ralph. S. Northam’s commemoration of Juneteenth in 2021 at Fort Monroe submitted by Luisa Igloria
- Gifts from the dedication ceremony from the Mattiponi and Pamunkey nations, hand painted gourd rattle and hand crafted earrings with sturgeon scale and beading, submitted by First Lady Pamela Northam
- Booklet which outlines Virginia’s first One Virginia Plan for Inclusive Excellence submitted by Dr. Janice Underwood
- “Rumors of War Wasn't a Rumor” photo lithographic plate with oil-based ink & sealant created by Marshal Turner, Jade Gibbens, and Studio Two Three and submitted by Studio Two Three
- Copy of the LGBTQ Richmond Walking Tour created by Blake McDonald submitted by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources
- First Presbyterian Church Session 2020 minutes approving the formation of a Dismantling Racism - Building The Beloved Community Advisory Group, submitted by Amy Starr Redwine
- Video of the One Commonwealth Many Virginians: Uniting in Interfaith Prayer for Healing and Unity event submitted by the Governor Ralph S. Northam’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Piece of tarp from the unveiling of Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War Statue and photos from the unveiling event, submitted by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
- Document describing selected student submissions from the Governor's Inaugural Black History Month Historical Marker Contest submitted by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources
- “Post-Colonial Love Poem” by 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Winner Natalie Diaz suggested by Dana Chesser and submitted by Natalie Diaz
- New Legacy Postcard created and submitted by Marc Cheatham and Noah Scalin.
- List of artifacts in the previous capsule as described in a Richmond Dispatch article dated October 26, 1887, submitted by the Library of Virginia
- Photo collage of individuals who contributed artifacts to the new time capsule and thank you note submitted by Tori Feyrer
"In the midst of demonstrations and reclaiming space, my photo of Black ballerina at America's largest Confederate statue made national headlines in June 2020, surprising and inspiring viewers," said photographer Marcus Ingram, whose photo will be included in the time capsule. "I am thrilled to have my print, my piece of history, be included in the new time capsule that aims to represent the Virginia of today. I am hopeful that future generations will see my photograph and understand what we stood up for."
The Robert E. Lee statue was removed from its pedestal on Wednesday and crews began searching for the time capsule said to be buried there on Thursday.
RELATED: Robert E. Lee statue removed in Richmond as crowd cheers, sings 'goodbye'
Crews worked for more than 12 hours Thursday removing large, heavy stones and searching for the time capsule with radar devices and a metal detector.
The search was called off just before nightfall. While crews were set to return to work Friday, officials said it was more likely they would be restoring the moved stones than continuing the search.
RELATED: Bringing down Lee: Lawmakers disagree removing the statue is progress
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