Workers removing the pedestal left behind after protesters toppled the Jefferson Davis monument in Richmond found a box encased in stone Wednesday, a city official said.
The box was removed Wednesday afternoon and the city will store it in a secure location until the owner, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, decides what to do with it, Jim Nolan, a spokesman for Mayor Levar Stoney, said in an email. Last month, the city transferred ownership of all Confederate monuments and associated artifacts to the museum, which will work with The Valentine museum to decide what to do with them.
Author and historian Dale Brumfield said a time capsule associated with the monument honoring the Confederate president has already been opened once, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Workers originally laid a cornerstone and time capsule for the monument in Monroe Park in 1896, according to the newspaper’s archives. But when funds for the monument weren’t secured, the plan was scrapped and a new monument on Monument Avenue was planned. During construction, the builders opened the time capsule, found the contents in good condition and reburied it.
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The Davis monument was installed on Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, by a Confederate heritage group in 1907. But in June 2020, the 8-foot (2.4-meter) bronze figure joined other Old South monuments removed or damaged in the wake of George Floyd’s death when protesters pulled it down from its stone pedestal.
Workers found two time capsules while disassembling the pedestal of the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue, which was at the center of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally. A capsule containing “relics” also was placed under the monument to Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, but that capsule hasn’t been unearthed yet.