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El Banco de Santa Eulalia

The Banco de Santa Eulalia, later reorganised as the Banco Comercial de Chihuahua, lasted for twenty-five years before finally being taken over by the Banco Minero.

First concession for El Banco de Santa Eulalia

The firm of Francisco MacManus and Sons was established in Chihuahua in 1841 and were wholesalers and retailers in a variety of goods. The family also owned extensive property, had shared with Enrique Müller the concession for the Chihuahua mint and were involved in various other business projects.

Santa Eulalia letterheadingOn 25 November 1875 the firm was authorised to establish the Banco de Santa Eulalia, (though the bank was frequently referred to as Francisco MacManus y HijosIt is referred to as Banco MacManus é Hijos in Santiago Ramírez, Noticia Historica de la Riqueza Minera de México, México, 1884. Santa Eulalia is a mining community ten miles west of Chihuahua. MacManus' wealth was based in part on his hacienda at Bachimba in the area (José Sanchez Pareja, Reseña Histórica de Batopilas, 1883)), and to issue its first series of notes. The total issue was to be 100,000 pesosA conjecture from the fact that the bank offered 100,000 pesos' worth of property as security and ordered that amount of notes, payable in hard cash at an 8% premium or in copper at par (pesos fuertes con un 8 por ciento de premio ó por cobre á la par, quedando la elección de moneda á voluntad del tenedor de billetes)Semanario Oficial, 17 December 1875. On 28 July 1878 the wording of the concession was changed from 'por pesos fuertes con un 8 por ciento de premio (siempre que no baje de diez pesos la cantidad que se desea cambiar) ó por cobre á la par, quedando la eleccíon de moneda á voluntad del tenedor de billetes' to 'por moneda corriente a la par ó por pesos fuertes, al 8 por ciento de cambio á voluntad del Banco' possibly in a belated attempt to match the wording of the concession to that of the notes in issue ('en moneda corriente ó su equivalente en pesos fuertes al cambio del dia'). Periódico Oficial, 18 August 1878.

The bank's first issue consisted of three notes, printed by the American Bank Note Company, with the 25 centavos with its central vignette of a railway engine being a particularly well-designed piece. The notes were signed by Francisco MacManus or Tomás MacManus as President (Presidente) and L. H. Scott as Accountant (Contador). The 1875 to 1881 25c to $1 issues had Macmanus’ signature engraved with the second signature left blank: later issues had both signatures engraved.

The MacManus family, who originally came from Philadelphia, was amongst the oldest foreign merchants and landowners in Chihuahua and therefore could inspire the confidence required by a private bank.

Francisco MacManus, the son of Francis MacManus from County Cavan, Ireland, was born on 27 May 1814 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Francisco had a blanket claim or title under an old state grant on the Santa Eulalia mountain, including 37 of its famous old mines. He had bought two groups of mines, one from the Compañía Restauradora, including the Santa Domingo, Bustillos, San Antonio, Dolores, Chirivel and others; the other group he had bought from Dolores Solis and it included among others the Santa Rita, Mina Vieja, San José, Parcionera, Negrita and Guadalupe.

In 1878 Francisco sold practically the whole of Santa Eulalia to John Robinson for $30,000. By 1905, when Santa Eulalia had “undoubtedly the greatest deposit of silver-lead ores in the world today” it was reckoned that “it would take more than $30,0000,000 Mexican to touch the holdings of at least two concerns in that camp, that of the Chihuahua Mining company and the American Smelting and Refining company”El Paso Herald, 28 June 1905.

Francisco died on 9 January 1879 in ChihuahuaMesilla News, 19 April 1879.

sig F Macmanus

Tomas MacManusJuan Tomás MacManus y González appears as a signatory on the $5 and $10 Banco de Santa Eulalia notes and the Banco Comercial notes. He was president from at least 1882 until [ ].

Born on 16 May 1854, young Tomás spent his early life in Mexico along with his sister, Francisca, and his brothers, Ignacio and Francisco but in early 1864 was sent to board at St. John’s College, New York City. Returning home to Mexico after his years there, he joined the family business and found himself involved in real estate, international trade, mining and banking. Tomás Macmanus would become a prominent financial figure, not only in Mexico, but in the US and overseas in Europe as well.

Later in his career, Macmanus would become involved with the booming North American railroad industry and would also turn to law and politics, holding various local offices and eventually serving as a state deputy, deputy to Congress, and senator for Chihuahua.

He was a business associate of the Terrazas: for example, he was a shareholder in the surveying company, the Compañía deslindadora del Campo y Guerrero y socios, where the manager was Enrique Creel and another shareholder was Juan TerrazasThe law of 15 December 1883 for the survey and colonisation of uncultivated land (terrenos baldíos) authorised the government to contract with surveying companies to locate and measure terrenos baldíos and to give them in recompense a third of the lands which they surveyed. Whilst the companies were not permitted to dispose of the lands they acquired in blocks greater than 2,500 hectares (6,177 acres) this limit was evaded by the use of dummy companies. Tomás Macmanus was a state deputy when the concession was given to the Compañía deslindadora del Campo y Guerrero y socios in 1883. However, he must have lost his fortune during the 1890s as in 1896 his estates were sold at public auction to satisfy a mortgage held by the Banco de Londres y MéxicoChihuahua Enterprise, 30 August 1895. The estate included the Hacienda de la Nariz, valued at $280,000, its anexas ($70,000), the Hacienda de Bachimba ($57,000) and various houses in the city. Macmanus’ business, Concurso F. Macmanus é hijos, suspended payments to its creditors on 11 April 1893 (Periódico Oficial, 30 May 1896). On 9 May 1896 the Juez 2º de Letras announced that the sale of the goods of Francisco Macmanus Sucesores had raised $71,905.17 (Periódico Oficial, 9 May 1896) and on 26 May 1896, paid a 10% distribution to creditors (Periódico Oficial, 30 May 1896). In later years he was solicitor acting for the Greene Gold Silver Company (in 1905), the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company (in 1906), the Sierra Madre and Pacific Railroad Company (in September 1908) and the Parral and Durango Railroad (in 1913). He took part in the negotiations over Madero’s renunciation and after Huerta’s coup d'etat remained as senator for Querétaro and helped arrange Huerta’s loans from English banks.

He died in Cuernavaca on 18 September 1945.

sig T Macmanus
Louis H. Scott was a native of Peoria, Illinois. Scott, the son of Martin F. Scott and Cecilia Dittoe, went to Chihuahua for his health, married Frances (Francisca), Francisco MacManus’ daughter and Tomás' sister, on 12 January 1870 and "by his enterprise and energy, became a very wealthy man, engaged largely in mining, merchandising and banking"El Paso Herald, 13 May 1883. He was United States consul in Chihuahua in the late 1870s and at some time treasurer of the Batopilas Mining Company. sig Scott


Around May 1882 the bank issued a second series (series B) of the same three lower denominations with L. H. Scott's signature now engraved on the plate.