The Dispute Over a Time Capsule Found in a Confederate Statue - Atlas Obscura
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The Dispute Over a Time Capsule Found in a Confederate Statue

It will be a while before we know exactly what’s inside.

On Tuesday, crews removed a Confederate statue known as “Johnny Reb” from a park in Orlando, Florida. It had stood there for 100 years in honor of the soldiers who fought for slavery and the confederacy.

What they didn’t expect to find was a time capsule, also thought to be around the same age, in the statue’s base. And while the statue will be moved to a nearby cemetery, officials are still trying to figure out what to do with the time capsule, even as a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy told WKMG on Wednesday that it should be theirs.

The capsule was likely placed in the statue’s base in 1911 when Johnny Reb was erected on Magnolia Avenue. The statue was moved to nearby Lake Eola Park in 1917.

“We’re saying that we paid for everything so we have a right to get/have the box back, regardless of what’s in it,” Patricia Schnurr, a United Daughters of the Confederacy member, told WKMG.

The dispute has meant that no one has opened the time capsule, but Schnurr said she’s knows what’s in it, based on organizational records. There’s a Confederate battle flag (likely similar to this one, if you’re curious) in addition to some Confederate money and a framed picture of General Robert E. Lee, Schnurr said.

The city of Orlando, for its part, said they will take their time deciding ownership, meaning we may not know exactly what’s inside the capsule for awhile.

“While there isn’t an official blueprint that exists for opening a time capsule, what we do know is that this is not a process we are going to rush,” a spokeswoman for the Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told Orlando Weekly.