PILGRIMS AND DIGHTON ROCK
There is no other monument in North America that has merited the attention of so many scholars as Dighton Rock. Several investigators puzzled by its inscriptions have remarked that they “believe it will never be interpreted.”
Dighton Rock has gone through four stages of study:
(1) Puritan Period (17th Cent)
(2) Phoenician Period (18th Cent),
(3) Viking Period (19th Cent,)
(4) Portuguese Period (20th Cent).
In 1918 it was revealed that the Portuguese navigator Miguel Corte Real and his crew engraved the first inscriptions on Dighton Rock (1502-11). Thus, more than a century before the English Pilgrims landed (1620), Miguel Corte Real and his crew were the first Europeans to colonize the territory that is now the United States of America.
Americans do not yet realize that almost two-thirds of the world was discovered by the Portuguese Navigators. Without knowing where the oceans plunged, Portuguese sailors never lost courage in the face of unknown seas which any attempt at conquering almost always meant getting lost.
At the start of the discoveries, the population of Portugal was one and a half million. One hundred and fifty years later — when all corners of the world became known — instead of the expected figure of three million, the number of inhabitants was less than one million.
In the history of man’s exploration Dighton Rock can be considered a stepping stone in our determination to plot and explore the mysteries of the uncharted areas of outer space.
PORTUGUESE PILGRIMS OF CALIFORNIA
A cross on the lonely San Miguel Island off the coast of California honoring the Portuguese navigator Cabrilho.
Both coasts of the United States were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese. The entire coast of California was discovered and named by the Portuguese navigators.
João Rodrigues Cabrilho, on September 28, 1542, set foot at San Diego, and declared in Portuguese that he was “taking possession of this land, these waters, and this harbor.” The heart of California, San Francisco Bay, was given its name by the Portuguese, Sebastião Sermenho.
Seventy eight years before the arrival of the Pilgrims (1620) at Plymouth Rock (Massachusetts), Portuguese Pilgrims were already in California.
In gratitude to the Portuguese navigators, the people of the Golden State established, in San Diego (1913) , the Cabrilho National Monument honoring the discoverer of California.
The Atlantic coast, from Labrador, along Newfoundland (Terra Nova), Cape Cod (Cabo dos Bacalhaus), all the way down to the tip of Florida, was discovered by the Portuguese navigators many years before sailors of other nations ventured to explore it.
The Florida peninsula appears on Portuguese maps before Ponce de Leon arrived there (1513) searching for the Fountain of Youth.
In the XV century the Portuguese had already seen Cape Kennedy, the site of all liftoffs to the moon. Similarly, during the Portuguese Century, Lisbon became the Cape Kennedy of discoveries.
Cabrilho statue at Cabrilho National Monument in San Diego California
The Portuguese navigators left on Dighton Rock a message of discovery and exploration for the American people.
The voyages across the seas of space mark the beginning of a new era in human history. With the explorations of outer space we have taken over where the Portuguese left off with their discoveries.
Click on each photo for a larger view
Statue of Gaspar Corte Real, Portuguese navigator, stands on capitol grounds in St. Johns Newfoundland
Dighton Rock with the inscription name of Miguel Corte Real, the discover of the United States Of America
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