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A new Dighton Rock replica is in the making at Tillitson Pearson Inc. (TPI) in Warren, a quarter century after the first replica was created.

The replica, the fourth of its kind, symbolizes the theory of many Portuguese Americans that the Portuguese were the first to discover the New World, rather than Christopher Columbus. The theory, which was first conceived in 1918 by a psychologist at Brown University, has been affirmed and researched by retired physician and scholar, Bristol resident Dr. Manuel Luciano Da Silva.

After 40-plus years of researching the original Dighton Rock and the curious inscriptions carved on it, Dr. Da Silva is proud to be associated with the theory, and the replicas. With the first three scattered throughout Portugal, Dr. Da Silva hopes to have the new replica sent to Funchal, Madeira within the next few months.

Sending the replica to Madeira is fitting Dr. Da Silva said, because a carving on Dighton Rock mirrors the Cross of the Order of Christ on the Madeira flag.

If the 55 signers of the Declaration of the American Independence … drank Madeira wine to celebrate that historical event, it is very much appropriate that the Americans of today send a replica of an American monument, Dighton Rock, to Madeira as a gesture of friendship and thanks.

The 84-pound replica, which is made of fiberglass, is currently receiving its final touches. TPI has created and donated all four replicas.

(By Jerry Da Silva – East Bay RI)

But what is the Dighton Rock? And why sending a replica to Madeira?

The Dighton Rock is a 40 ton boulder, originally located in the riverbed of the Taunton River at Berkley, Massachusetts (formerly part of the town of Dighton). The rock is noted for the controversy surrounding a set of mysterious inscriptions on it.

As for the reason to send a replica of the rock to Madeira Island, according to Dr. Manuel Luciano Da Silva (mentioned in the article above) its because of historical fact that the Dighton Rock engraved displays Crosses of the Order of Christ (with extremities terminating at 45 degree angles) which is the same as the Cross of the Order of Christ, symbol of the Portuguese Discoveries, in the center of the Madeira Archipelago flag. Read more about it at