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Amortisation of the copper coinage

There were at least two series of bonds for the amortisation of Chihuahua's copper coinage.

Governor José Eligio Muñoz's bonds of 1860

Amortisation bond

Firstly, on 20 January 1860 Governor Muñoz ordered the minting of a new issue of copper coinage and the amortisation of the existing coinage which, because of its poor quality, was easily counterfeitedDiscurso of Governor Muñoz, 8 April 1860. The holders of the old coinage were offered bonds and by 1861 more than 100,000 pesos was owed to owners of bondsDiscurso of Governor Terrazas, 18 September 1861. They still appear in the accounts of the Administración General de Rentas in 1866.

Certificados para la amortización de la moneda de cobre en el Estado de Chihuahua

Then, during the war against the French both President Juárez, on behalf of the government, and Governor Terrazas, on behalf of the state, authorised the minting of copper coins at the Chihuahuan mintPeriódico Oficial, 27 December 1860. These coins were extremely unpopular, being not accepted outside the state and with difficulty within. By 1868 they had depreciated by 70% and in May of that year the central government agreed to the use of federal receipts for their amortisationLa Republica, 7 August 1868. This decision caused alarm in Chihuahua and a rise in the price of bare necessities, so Terrazas suggested levying a forced loan of $100,000 to retire the remaining coins[A ], letter of Terrazas, 28 August 1868.

Juan N. Zubirán went to consult with the Secretario de Hacienda in Mexico City, and on 20 August 1868 the President approved the project for amortisation. On 18 September Governor Feliciano Ruíz, in accordance with the 20 August decree, appointed Esteban Benítez president of the Junta Central de Amortizacion, composed of Domingo Leguinazábal, Juan Mandrí, José Félix Maceyra, Jorge Macmanus, Jesús Mariñelarena, Manuel de Herrera, Francisco Espinoza, Sr., and Agustín HinojosLa República, 10 October 1868. As Benítez did not accept the appointment, José Félix Maceyra was named in his place and Antonio Asúnsolo added as a delegate. The junta met the next day, and apportioned the following contribution on each canton.

Iturbide $23,000.00
Hidalgo 22,000.00
Mina 8,000.00
Rosales 3,000.00
Meoqui 4,500.00
Rayón 3,500.00
Allende 7,000.00
Guerrero 2,500.00
Bravos 2,000.00
Matamoros 5,500.00
Jimenez 1,500.00
Victoria 3,000.00
Abasolo 2,000.00
Galeana 1,000.00
Aldama 1,000.00
Camargo 8,500.00
Balleza 2,000.00
Total $100,000.00


The list missed out the canton of Arteaga. On 23 September governor Ruíz asked for the reason.

On 9 October Terrazas published the provisional regulations that would effect the amortisation. The central Junta, headed by José Félix Maceyra, would issue provisional receipts and a junta of businessmen would oversee the destruction of the coins.

The government of the state of Chihuahua agreed that the certificates would be printed by the Tesorería General de la Nación in Mexico City and sent to Chihuahua. The bonds were issued in a series of six values dated 31 October 1868.

Amortizacion 1 F 5805

Amortizacion 5 E 3823

Amortizacion 5 E 3823 reverse

Amortizacion 10 D 2303

  Series from to total
$100 1 A 1 700 700 70,000
$50 2 B 701 1500 800 40,000
$20 3 C 1501 2250 750 15.000
$10 4 D 2251 3750 1,500 15,000
$5 5 E 3751 5750 2,000 10,000
$1 6 F 5751 16375 10,625 10,625


They had the printed signatures of Matías Romero as Ministro de Hacienda and Manuel P. Izaguirre, as Tesorero General.

Matias RomeroMatías Romero Avendaño was born on 24 February 1837 in Oaxaca. In 1855 he moved to Mexico City and received his law degree on 12 October 1857. He joined the liberals under command of General Ignacio Zaragoza, and travelled to Guanajuato to join the Army. However, he was instead commissioned into the Ministry of Relations. He accompanied Juárez to Guadalajara, but was briefly imprisoned by Commander Landa. After being freed, he followed Juárez to Veracruz via Panamá. He served as Melchor Ocampo's private secretary in Veracruz, and as official in various secretariats.

In December 1859 Romero was named Secretary of the Mexican Legation in Washington, D.C. During the French Invasion of Mexico, Romero played a key role in lobbying the United States to oppose the French-backed Emperor Maximilian. Romero also supported mediation between the United States and the Confederacy in order that the United States could focus more on opposing the Mexican Empire.

On 15 January 1868, Romero was named Minister of the Treasury by President Benito Juárez. He resigned on 15 May 1872 for reasons of ill health. By September 1875, he entered government service again, as substitute senator for Chiapas. By the following autumn he was named Deputy to Congress for the fifth district of Oaxaca.

In May 1877 he again took over as Minister of the Treasury, but resigned in 1879 for health reasons. By 1879 he returned to Washington, to establish a company to oversee construction of a railway between Mexico City and Oaxaca and was named manager of the company. On 15 May 1882, he was appointed ambassador extraordinaire and minister plenipotentiary.

He died in New York City on 30 December 1898.

 sig Romero
Manuel P. Izaguirre sig Romero


These bonds were admissible as payment for all federal duties of less than $5 or up to 75% of any duty if it exceeded that amount, the remaining quarter to be paid in hard cash. This condition (base 10a of the regulations) was printed on the reverse of the bonds.

On 7 November 1869 the Commission for the Amortisation of Copper reported and proposed that the state government act as agent for the federal government in paying the $170,000 worth of bonds that had been issuedLa Republica, 19 November 1869.

On 30 June 1877 the Tesorería General del Estado in Chihuahua held $144,025.00 in certificados de amortizaciónAP papers, Box 3:1 “Historia Numismatica de Chihuahua”.