Three months after the removal of the bronze monument, Robert E. Lee’s bronze statue was taken down from the plinth of granite covered in graffiti.  

On Monday, preliminary work will be underway at Richmond’s site. The pedestal is scheduled to be taken down by the end of December 31st according to Governor Ralph Northam. 

Northam explained that this land was in the heart of Richmond. Richmonders will decide what happens to it. “The Commonwealth will take down the pedestal. We anticipate that this project will be completed safely and with a positive outcome.

The statue the plinth supported was removed September 8 after becoming the latest Confederate statue to be toppled by the Black Lives Matter movement amid protest from some white residents who thought it should be preserved in history.

Crews will begin removing the graffiti-covered granite plinth that once held the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monday morning

On Monday, crews will start removing graffiti-covered granite plinths that used to house the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

As protests against George Floyd’s passing continued, the plinth was graffiti-defaced in May 2020.

The items are being preserved, not destroyed. However, it is still unknown if or how they will be displayed in public. 

In the meantime, Richmond can decide how to dispose of the traffic circle which used to be the plinth. But, Richmond has yet to reveal any potential plans.  

The statue itself was removed September 8 after becoming the latest Confederate monument to be toppled by the Black Lives Matter movement amid protest from white residents who thought it should be preserved in history.

The statue, which was the Confederate’s latest monument, was torn by Black Lives Matter in protest of white residents who felt it should remain part of history.

BLM supporters cheered last fall as the monument of bronze weight (12 tons) – America’s largest Confederate sculpture – was removed.

While officials decided on what to do, the concrete pedestal of 40 feet remained in place.

After the pedestal is removed, the item will be taken apart and stored, according to the release.

The possibility exists that an 1887-year-old time capsule, believed to have been hidden under the statue, will be found when it is removed. 

The plinth was defaced with graffiti in May 2020 as protests over the death of George Floyd continued

In May 2020, graffiti was used to deface the plinth in protest against George Floyd’s death.

After only 12 hours of digging, officials in September stopped searching for the capsule. It was believed to have a photograph of Abraham Lincoln inside. 

On September 9, crews took 8,000 pounds of granite blocks off the concrete base at 40 feet high. They were searching for the copper box containing Civil War relics. An aide to Northam declared it over and called it an end.

‘After a long hard day, it’s clear the time capsule won’t be found — and Virginia is done with lost causes,’ chief communications officer for the governor Grant Neely told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The hunt for the moldy Confederate box has ended. We are moving forward. 

Devon Henry (pictured) looks on as crews worked to retrieve the 134-year-old time capsule on September 9, hours before the search ended

Devon Henry, (pictured), watches crews attempt to find the time capsule that was stored in a time capsule that dates back to 134 years ago. The search began on September 9th and ended hours later.

Crews attempted to locate a time capsule said to be buried in the base of the Lee statue

Crews searched for a time capsule that was buried beneath the Lee statue.

Many people were thrilled to see the contents of the “moldy Confederate” box. It was a copper capsule that dates back to 1887 and contained silver dollars as well as Civil War relics, including Confederate buttons.

According to a newspaper article, it contained an image of Lincoln in his coffin. It was given by Miss Pattie Lee (a Richmond school principal).

Library records indicate that 37 people and companies contributed 60 objects related to Confederacy to historic cache.

It is unclear whether the photograph shows Lincoln lying in state, or if it was taken in Lincoln’s coffin. Historians have doubts.

Dale Brumfield was a historian and author from the area who had studied the history of the capsule. He was disappointed by the conclusion and believed it was being concealed, according to the Times-Dispatch.

Brumfield stated, “It’s there somewhere.” “Why is it kept secret?” Why hide it? It’s absurd. 

The pedestals were refilled with a new capsule, which contained 2021 artifacts. These included photos of Stop Asian Hate protests and BLM stickers.

It contains 39 items. The capsule was created by the residents of the area and chosen by an advisory group which included Pamela Northam (First Lady).

The 2021 time capsule includes a You Are Not Alone flyer found in the street after a George Floyd protest last year, a COVID mask worn by Virginia's First Lady Pam Northam, photos from a Stop Asian Hate protest, a Virginia is for Lovers sticker, a hand painted gourd rattle that was a gift from the Mattiponi and Pamunkey nations, a hip hop album

You Are Not Alone is a flyer that you can find in the streets after George Floyd’s protest, Virginia’s First Lady Pam Northam wore a COVID face mask and photos taken at Stop Asian Hate. The capsule also includes Virginia is for Lovers stickers. A hand-painted gourd rattle was donated by the Mattiponi & Pamunkey Nations, and an album of hip hop tracks.

The photos include a photograph of a black dancer performing in front of a vandalized monument, and a copy of National Geographic 2020 in Pictures’ issue. There is also a cover photo of George Floyd’s Lee monument, as well as a Congressionally chartered 400 Years of African-American History Commission ‘Kente’ cloth.

The statue was removed by the governor in its entirety last year. This decision came 10 days after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The crowd reacts as the largest Confederate statue remaining the US was removed in Richmond on September 8

When the US’ largest Confederate monument was taken out of Richmond, September 8, the crowd reacts.

The pedestal that once held the statue stands empty, and will be removed by December 31

The pedestal, which once housed the statue, is gone.

This statue was built 25 years after the Civil War ended and 20 years after Lee’s passing. 

The Lee Monument Commission was established in 1886 and was headed by Fitzhugh Lee, a former Virginia Governor. 

Governor. Ralph Northam stated that it was an inexplicable decision. It is part of the healing process to allow Virginia to move on and become a state welcoming people with diversity and inclusion. 

The plinth will be put into storage until a permanent plan for it is established, a spokesperson for governor-elect Glenn Youngkin told the Washington Post. 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam watches the Robert E. Lee statue being removed on September 8. He ordered the statue's removal last summer after George Floyd's death

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia, watches as the Robert E. Lee statue is removed from his office on September 8. The statue was removed by Ralph Northam, Virginia Governor. 

 After the statue was taken down last fall, former president Donald Trump was among those to condemn ‘the desecration’ of the monument. Donald Trump said that the general had led Americans to victory over Taliban.

‘Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the radical left, and we can’t let that happen,’ said Trump in an emailed statement.

“If only Robert E. Lee had been there to lead our forces in Afghanistan, the disaster would have been over years ago.

‘What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!’

Robert E. Lee, General and Slave Owner – a hero of Confederate Army who was an icon for the alt-right

Robert E. Lee was an admirable general and slave-owner, who led Confederate Army troops in some of most brutal battles of Civil War. 

He joined the Army in 1825 and graduated the United States Military Academy 1829. His father was a Revolutionary War veteran. 

In 1846, Lee was the first to see action in Mexico with the American military. He later served as major general of Virginia’s state forces. 

He led the Confederate side during the Civil War in battles at Gettysburg, Antietam and surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia on April 9th 1865. 

A decorated war hero, he was also a prolific slave owner who punished slaves by lashing them.   

Three slaves were severely punished by Lee in 1859 – Wesley Norris’ sister Mary and one cousin of theirs after trying to escape from the plantation. Lee whipped them after they were captured, according to a newspaper. 

Mary was awarded 20 lashes, and the men were given 50. 

Lee jailed many of his 200 slaves, and many were sold to traders. Only one family was left intact by the 1860s.  

He is believed to have told his son in 1868:  ‘You will never prosper with the blacks, and it is abhorrent to a reflecting mind to be supporting and cherishing those who are plotting and working for your injury, and all of whose sympathies and associations are antagonistic to yours.’ 

Lee refused to have Confederate monuments built in his honour after the Civil War and wanted to see the country move forward from that conflict.

The Southerners adopted the revisionist story ‘The Lost Cause’ about Civil War after Lee’s death and made Lee its main figure. According to The Last Cause, the South realized it was losing and chose to continue fighting it on principle. Also, it tried to say that the war wasn’t about slavery, but high constitutional ideals.

Proponents of The Lost Cause began pushing to honor Lee. They ignored his shortcomings as both a general, and as an owner of slaves. Lee monuments were built in 1920, just when the Ku Klux Klan was enjoying a revival and new Jim Crow segregation legislations were being adopted.

In Charlottesville, Virginia the Robert E. Lee statue was built in 1924. One year later, Congress approved federal funding to help restore Lee’s mansion at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lee is honored with a U.S. Mint coin. Lee appears on five U.S. Postage Stamps. Other than President Abraham Lincoln, no other Union figure has received similar honors. 

After the civil Rights Movement, residents of black and Latino communities began pressing elected officials to remove Lee and other Confederate memorials from places such as New Orleans and Houston. 

The partial removals were partly based upon violent acts by white supremacists who used Confederate imagery, and historians questioning The Lost Cause’s legitimacy.

As the fourth monument to Confederate-era Confederate figures, a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in New Orleans was taken from Lee Circle.

Houston Independent Schools District also decided in 2016 that Robert E. Lee High was to be renamed Margaret Long Wisdom School. This school has a large Latino community.

Charlottesville’s City Council approved removing the Lee statue from its park. This prompted a lawsuit by opponents. Opponents of the move, including white supremacists as well as neo-Nazis that revere Lee and Confederacy, were also involved in this discussion. In July, the statue was taken down from Charlottesville.  

Some descendants of Lee supported the removal. 

His great-great-great-great nephew said last summer to ABC News, “This is an easy decision.” 

“This issue is one of justice, and peace. [If]Peace in our times and the ability for it to be achieved are what we seek. [have] equality … we must do that by addressing the monuments not only in stone and in bronze, but elsewhere as well.’ 

Reverend Robert Lee IV, the fourth great nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, said the removal of confederate symbols was 'a no brainer' amid demands for statues of pro-slavery figures to be taken down

The fourth great nephew to Confederate General Robert E. Lee was Reverend Robert Lee IV. He said that the removal confederate symbols should be a ‘no brainer’ in light of the demands for pro-slavery statues to be removed.