In the course of restoring the statue back in 1887, archaeologists were taken aback as they stumbled upon a concealed box nestled within its base. Recognizing the potential historical significance, the immediate decision was made to document the unboxing process, capturing the unveiling on camera.
Positioned beneath the base, the container’s discovery prompted the swift summoning of specialist experts to the site, with archaeologist Kate Ridgway leading the investigative team. Initial skepticism lingered among experts regarding the preservation of contents within the box, considering its prolonged exposure to humidity.
Under the watchful eyes of museum staff, the box was carefully opened, revealing a surprisingly well-preserved array of 19th-century artifacts. Among the finds were minutes from local Masonic lodge meetings, a Masonic sign, and various newspaper articles. Notably, sealed documents within the package stirred the greatest curiosity.
Regrettably, water had infiltrated the container, presenting a restorative challenge that historians anticipate will span months to revive archives dating back almost 130 years.
Despite the wealth of discovered documents, historians remain circumspect about publicizing the findings. The sensitive nature of the information, coupled with the fact that the box was concealed beneath a statue of a Confederate general, leads to a cautious approach in revealing the unearthed historical narratives.