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The Depression

In the United States the 1929 depression caused bank failures, hoarding, and an inability to pay taxes, which in turn meant a shortage of normal currency and led to the issue of emergency scrip. Similar effects would have been felt in the northern states of Mexico.

Another possible reason for the issue of emergency money may have been the Escobarista rebellion. In March 1929 General José Gonzalo Escobar rebelled against interim President Emilio Portes Gil and Plutarco Elías Calles who, despite not being president, was actually running the country. He issued his Manifesto de Hermosillo on 3 March and established himself across Sonora and Sinaloa and other parts of northern Mexico. General Fausto Topete Almada, the governor of Sonora between 1927 and 1929, signed the Manifesto de Hermosillo and took a six months leave of absence to take up arms in favour of the Escobarista rebellion.

By 5 March Agua Prieta, Naco and Cananea were in the hands of the rebelsPrensa, 5 March 1929 but the Escobaristas were quickly defeated and normality had been restored in Naco and Cananea by 16 AprilPrensa, 17 April 1929.

Cananea Consolidated Copper Company

Cananea 5 16070

Cananea 5 16070 reverse

Cananea 5 136600

  date on note from to total
$5 16 May 1929         includes number 16070
1 February 1930         includes number 136600


$5 bearer cheques from the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company drawn on the Compañía Bancaria Mercantil de Cananea are known with the printed dates 16 May 1929 or 1 February 1930. Both had to be presented for payment before the end of the month in question (a couple of days longer in the second instance).

The only legible signature is that of C. E. Lehman. On the February 1930 check the signatory is stated to be the company's treasurer.

Chester Elmer Lehman[if correct person]
Chester Elmer Lehman was born in Crested Butte, Colorado on 27 March 1895.

He died in San Diego, California on 28 June 1982, aged 87.

sig Lehman
C. Stiles(?)[identification needed] sig CCCC Tesorero