Gobierno Preconstitucional

The Carrancista forces, under the command of General Jesús Agustín Castro, entered Chiapas in September 1914 and on 14 September Castro assumed command as governor and military commander of the Gobierno Preconstitucional. His government made two issues of cartones.

First issue

The first issue, dated 28 December 1914, was the result of a decree on 26 December. This established a Caja de Cambio, as a section of the Tesorería General del Estado, whose operations would be guaranteed with the Tesorería’s interest and with funds received in exchange for fractional currency. The Caja would issue $100,000 in four denominations, which would be of obligatory acceptance in all kinds of payments, including federal taxes. Anyone who wanted to exchange the new notes for ones of greater value could do so at the offices of the Tesorería General or any office de RentaArchivo de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, Revolución, exp. XI/481.5/51: El Dictamen, Veracruz, Año XVII, Núm. 1377, 1 January 1915.

The text on the face is ‘CAJA DE CAMBIO VALE   CENTAVOS Que la Caja de Cambio recibirá y pagara de acuerdo con el Decreto de 25 del corriente Tuxtla Gutierrez Diciembre 28 de 1914 VALE    CENTAVOS’ and on the reverse ‘Gobierno Preconstitucional Este billete es de admisión obligatoria en todo el Estado y en toda clase de pagos inclusive el de impuestos de la Federación’. The decree stated that the notes were to carry the signatures of the Secretario General de Gobierno and the Tesorero General del Estado, and in fact the former, of Teniente Coronel José C. Rangel, is is in the central diagonal on one side and the latter, of Capitán 1o José P Casanova, is under the seal on the other.

  Series   printing pasteboard number from to Value
5c A Cinco Centavos  black brown        
10c B DIEZ CENTAVOS black blue        
20c C VEINTE CENTAVOS blue white        
50c D CINCUENTA CENTAVOS red white        


On 29 March 1915 Carranza’s Secretaría de Hacienda allowed the local governments of Guerrero, Chiapas, Tamaulipas, Puebla, Hidalgo and Tabasco to issue fractional currency[               ] letter núm. 5638 Secretario de Hacienda 29 March 1915.

Second issue

On 10 May the governor, General Jesús Agustín Castro, decreed a further issue. This increased the amount in circulation by another $400,000, $100,000 in the four current denominations, $100,000 in new $1 notes and $200,000 in new $2 notes. The notes are dated 12 May.

On 24 July General Brigadier Blas Corral, while governor, noting that the central government was now sending regular consignments of small denomination paper currency to the state, which would soon alleviate the present difficulties in transacting business, no longer recognised the need for a local issue and so rescinded the May decree.

Blas Corral was too hasty, problems continued and so on 10 September, making use of an authorization that he had received from the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público on 22 July, by his decree núm. 44, he reinstated the issue of $100,000 in denominations of less than one peso. The cartones would carry the date of 12 May. Thus:

  Series   printing pasteboard number from to Value
5c A CINCO CENTAVOS black blue        
10c B DIEZ CENTAVOS black orange        
20c C VEINTE CENTAVOS black white        
50c D CINCUENTA CENTAVOS black brown        


It appears that the government printed the cartones in May but did not use them because of the poor state of the printing. The cartones would allow the government to retire the Gobierno Provisional de México issue which had been withdrawn by Carranza but which could not be replaced because of a lack of fundsEl Regenerador, Tomo I, Núm. 28. 2 September 1915.


On 23 September 1915 Blas Corral decreed (decree núm. 45) that, because of the poor state of the original cartones (of 26 December 1914) from that date until 31 October such cartones would be exchanged for notes or cartones of legal tender in Caja de Cambio in the Tesorería General del Estado and in all the Oficinas de Hacienda, and subsequently incinerated. Notes in good condition would be exchanged when the government decided.

On 1 April 1916 Blas Corral, in decree núm. 21, set a deadline of 15 May for people to exchange cartones of the first issue, after which they would be null and void. A circular on 19 May 1916 prorogued this deadline until 30 JuneEl Regenerador, Tomo II, Núm. 96. 21 May 1916.

On 13 May 1916 $15,392.75 in cartones of the first issue were incinerated in San Cristóbal Las Casas in the presence of Ramón Rabasa hijoEl Regenerador, Tomo II, Núm. 97. 25 May 1916. Then on 21 May $32,030,60 of the same issue were destroyed in Tuxtla GutiérrezEl Regenerador, Tomo II, Núm. 97. 25 May 1916 Interim governor José Ascención González; Secretario General José C. Rangel and Tesorero General José P. Casanova attended the incineration.

Next, on 19 June, Blas Corral decreed that notes of the second issue would continue to circulate at a rate of ten to one in relation to the infalsificables, but would be exchanged in the Tesorería General, Colecturías and Sub-Colecturías de Rentas del Estado, from 15 July until 1 September, after which date it also would be null and void.

The $2 note

The two larger values were authorised by Castro's 10 May decree, which was then rescinded, and are not mentioned in any reporting, so they were obviously never issued.

However, examples of a $2 note exist. These are of a simple design, with a portrait of Chiapan hero and martyr Belisario Domínguez on the left and the Aztec calendar on the right, reference to the decree and the signatures of José C. Rangel as Secretario General de Gobierno and José P. Casanova as Tesorero General (as laid down the original decree).

It is unknown whether these were legitimate models or merely something spurious.