Jefatura de Hacienda notes
At first Mercado borrowed from the banks, businesses and prominent individuals to pay his troops but finally, having used up all other resources, he decided to issue notes drawn on the Jefatura de Hacienda and supposedly guaranteed by the Tesorería de la Federación. The order was printed as a stop-press (alcance) to the 25 November Periódico Oficial, the last that the federals published, so it could also be used as a poster. It stated that the Jefatura had issued billetes o vales al portador for 50c, $1, $5 and $10, to make up for the lack of banknotes and silver coins. The issue would be of forced circulation, and redeemable in quantities of 20, 50, 100 or more pesos by cheques or giros encashable at the Tesorería de la Nación in Mexico CityPeriódico Oficial, 25 November 1913. On the reverse of the 50c note it states that (Estos cheques son admitidos por las oficinas públicas de este Estado.
Este cheque y todos aquellos expedidos por esta Jefatura pueden canjearse por letras de cambio sobre México en esta misma oficina con objeto de que el tenedor obtenga el valor de ellos en uno solo.
La autorización para girar fué dada en cablegrama, confirmada en oficio núm. 3,046, fecha 23 de septiembre del corriente año por el C. Tesorero General de la Federación.
Chihuahua, noviembre 20 de 1913.- Confrontado. El Oficial 1o. E Hernandéz).
These notes were being printed by the state printing office and the El Norte press when, as soon as the 50 centavos value was released, an uproar ensued.
In his report to Huerta, Mercado said that the Tesorería refused to acknowledge the notes and businesses therefore closed. Without funds, with desertions increasing and in face of a real risk that his troops would begin to sack the shops, Mercado decided to retreat to OjinagaLuis y Adrian Aguirre Benavides, Las Grandes Batallas de la Divisíon del Norte, México, 1964. In the memoirs that he later wrote to defend his actions Mercado gave a slightly different version. There he recalled that a delegation of businessmen called on him and told him that the Chamber of Commerce had decided to close the principal stores, "since what he intended was nothing short of a diplomatic looting that in a short space would leave businesses with neither money nor goods. As soon as his notes were issued they would drive out the remaining good money and leave the merchants with only his own worthless paper, useless in dealing with American and European firms". He therefore had to cancel his plan of issuing the notesSalvador Mercado, Rectificaciones Históricas, 1913-1914, México, 1916.
It is a matter of dispute, therefore, whether the 50 centavos note, dated 20 November and signed by José G Rochin as Jefe de Hacienda and C. Pérez Ojeda as Contador, did in fact reach circulation.
|José G Rochin:|
|C. Pérez Ojeda: In a case of 'out of the frying pan, into the fire', Ojeda went on to be Jefe de Hacienda in Sonora and was besieged again in Guaymas. He appears as a signatory on the emergency notes issued in that city in 1914|
Even if the notes were issued, they will have only been in use for eleven days until 1 December when Mercado abandoned the city.
AlmadaFrancisco Almada, La Revolución en el Estado de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, 1964 states that the Jefatura de Hacienda received, via Ciudad Juárez, documentos o vales to the value of $1,200,000, though he had been unable to find out if all of these were put into circulation. Certainly, he reports, the holders of such notes lost everything. It is probable, however, that Almada was confusing the Jefatura de Hacienda issue with Orozco's bonds and the Caja de Ahorros notes.