(STRIPES) – So, no ultrarare photo of President Lincoln in his casket. Not even a trove of pro-Confederate propaganda.
But the Robert E. Lee monument time capsule that Virginia historians opened Wednesday produced its share of mystery and intrigue – along with three waterlogged books from the late 1800s, a pamphlet or two, a ghostly photo and a British coin.
Gov. Ralph Northam lent a hand Wednesday afternoon as conservators Chelsea Blake and Kate Ridgway finally peeled up the lid of the small lead box after several hours of prying at its seams. Workers had discovered the box Friday while dismantling the 40-foot stone plinth that once supported the state’s statue of Lee on Monument Avenue. Northam ordered the statue taken down in September, calling it a symbol of racism.
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