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The End

By 3 October 1915 Villa could no longer sustain a fixed value for the paper peso and let it float. In late October Fidel Avila, military governor of Chihuahua, ordered that all business taxes should be paid in silver (though it was unobtainable)Prensa, 28 October 1915. After 25 October Villista money was no longer accepted in payment of custom dues or other taxes by the government officials in Ciudad Juárez, who demanded silver or American currencyEl Paso Herald, 25 October 1915: Albuquerque Journal, 26 October 1915. Villista garrisons, especially in Ciudad Juárez, complained that they were paid with worthless notes, and this created the possibility of mass defectionsSD papers, 812.00/16842, 13 November 1915. Villista soldiers and policemen were promised their pay in silver instead of Chihuahua notesEl Paso Herald, 3 November 1915. By November Carranza money was being freely distributed amongst the garrison, and that prosperity has caused the Villa officials to pay the same privates in United States currency as a bid for their loyaltyAlbuquerque Journal, 7 November 1915.

By November the Electric Railway company was collecting streetcar fares from Ciudad Juárez in Mexican silver or American gold, refusing to accept Villa currency as Villa no longer accepted his own money for customs duties and other legal paymentsEl Paso Herald, 2 November 1915. By late November the exchange rate was 250:1SD papers, 812.00/16843, Josephus Daniels to Secretary of State, 22 November 1915 and in December Villista currency was no longer in circulationSD papers, 812.00/16902, Zachary Cobb, Collector of Customs at El Paso, Texas to Secretary of State, 2 December 1915; SD papers, 812/17083, U.S. Customs Service, Treasury Department to Leon J. Canova, Department of State, 9 December 1915; SD papers, 812.00/17053, Louis Hostetter, United States Consul at Hermosillo to Secretary of State, 27 December 1915.

By December the government in Chihuahua was still paying its bills with its own notes whilst demanding payment in Mexican silver or American gold. In Ciudad Juárez the situation was not so bad as soldiers and employees were being paid half in silver and half in useless paperPrensa, 23 December 1915.

Amazingly a report from Villa Acuña, Coahuila, in December 1915 said that the money in circulation there were Carranza’s, silver, American gold and Villa’s sábanas (though these might have been just for fractional values)Prensa, 20 December 1915. However, Chihuahua notes still seem to be being used, though causing great difficulties, in Morelos in February 1916AGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 11, exp 4, f 30 and Villa himself did not lay down his arms until 1920, so more information is still needed on what happened in those areas where he still held out.