In the middle of 1913, because of the disruption in communications and the scarcity of small change, certain companies in Parral, Chihuahua and the surrounding area began to issue their own fractional paper currency. These valores de trabajo were payable to the bearer on presentation in the company's offices as soon as communications were restored (al portador una vez que se reanuden las comunicaciones, en sus oficinas de esta ciudad, á la presentación de esto).
Many businesses and individuals were unwilling to accept some of these vales, and General Manuel Chao issued a circular calling upon the issuers to formally request permission and to offer adequate guarantees. In consequence, on 22 September 1913 Chao issued a decree that people should accept the notes of the Compañía Ferrocarril Parral y Durango; the Alvarado Mining and Milling Company; the San Francisco del Oro Mining Company; the Concurso Mexico Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company; San Pedro, Guanaceví and E.T. Notts (sic), Guanaceví, and not accept the Fundicion de Fierro y Bronce, the El Rayo Mining and Development Company, the Mina La Cumbre y La Bufa or any other company that was not on the list of acceptable notesAMP, Tesorería, Tesorería, Correspondencia, caja 164, exp. 1.
On 5 October 1913 Villa, while at Torreón, decreed that the notes issued by the various companies in Chihuahua and Durango should be accepted as legal tender until such time as they were redeemed. He, for his part, would ensure that the companies honoured their paper¡Patria Libre!, Durango, 10 October 1913.
On 16 October Pastor Rouaix, discussing the notes that were circulating in the Comarca Lagunera, disposed that the only ones of obligatory circulation would be the bonos of the Asociación Durangueña, the bank-on-bank cheques, and those of the Compañía Jabonera de la Laguna, Compañía Algodonera e Industrial de la Laguna, and Ferrocarril eléctrico de Lerdo a Torreón, the other notes issued by businesses and individuals to be of voluntary circulationPeriódico Oficial, Durango, Tomo XXXVIII, Núm. 61, Durango, 6 November 1913.
In a decree of 15 December 1913 the commander in Durango, Coronel E. R. Nójera, listed the bonos that were of forced circulation in that state ¡Patria Libre!, Durango, 23 December 1913. These included some local bonos.
Once the Chihuahuan rebels issued their own currency, they quickly moved to stamp out other issues. On 23 December 1913 Villa ordered that the vales issued by certain Mexican and foreign-owned businesses (casas comerciales mexicanas y extranjeras) since the beginning of the revolution should be exchanged for revolutionary paper currency. However, in Parral they did not have the new currency and on 29 December General Luis Herrera, the Jefe de Armas issued a circular that the vales should continue to be accepted. Local businesses were less willing and on 31 December formed themselves into a “Unión Mercantil” that demanded that the issuers give adequate guarantees to business and the public in generalAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Libros minutarios, 1913, AL12-13-000-102 letter to Presidente Municipal, 10 January 1913.
On 6 January 1914 the Presidente Municipal of Parral received copies of the notice that only sábanas and Constitucionalist issues were of forced circulationAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Libros minutarios, 1913, AL12-13-000-102 and on 12 January 1914 the Secretario de Gobierno told him to make sure that these companies did not issue any more vales. He therefore wrote to the various companies and to the printers in the city informing them of the edictibid.. On 23 January 1914 Governor Chao of Chihuahua set a deadline of 31 January for exchanging these irregular issues, though on 31 January the government extended the deadline: 5 February within the city of Chihuahua and 10 February outsidePeriódico Oficial, 1 February 1914. The notice refers specifically to mining scrip (vales de compañías mineras). Thereafter anyone in possession of such notes would be deemed a counterfeiter. Chao made a similar pronouncement in ParralEl Paso Morning Times, 2 February 1914.
On 4 February 1914 Secretario F. Rios Laurenzana told Jefes Políticos to order the withdrawal of prívate issues within fifteen days and produce a report detailing the issuers and amountsADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3. In Nombre de Dios Juan N. Orona, Francisco Flores A., Antonio Durán, Rodrigo and Librado Durán, José María Corona and Miguel Mercado denied making any such issuesADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3 report 9 February 1914 and on 18 February the Jefe Político replied that no issues had been madeADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3. On 8 February Nombre de Dios passed on the request to the Jefe de Policía in La Parrilla who reported that only Jesús María Galdívar and Eugenio Avila had issued notes to make up for the lack of change (boletas como contraseñas por la suma escases que hay de feria) in their grocery stores. The former had $3 and the latter $10 in circulation and both agreed to withdraw them in the next couple of daysADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3. In a telegram of 10 February Martín Martínez, the Jefe Político of Cuencamé, mentioned the Cia. Industrial Jabonera de la Laguna, S. A., Ferrocarril Eléctrico de Lerdo a Torreón, S. A.; Francisco Madero, Ferico (sic) Ritter, Guillermo Purcell y Cia, etc. etc.and was told that only the Ferrocarril Electrico were of forced circulationADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3. On 6 March the Jefe Político Interino of San Juan de Guadalupe, J. A, Briones, reported that there were no mining companies in his jurisdictionADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3. H. Medina, the Jefe Político of Topia, passed the notification on to the following: the Negociación Minera Topia Mining Company, Plutarco C. Almeida, Albino Rico, Ramón Camarena and Rómulo Gamboa. Clemente Corrales, the temporary manager (gerente interino) of the Topia Mining Company, replied that they had issued $5,412.30 in “Vales al Portador”or “Comprobaciones”, which were accepted by all businesses and exchanged monthly for cheques drawn on Culiacán. The others did not know how much they had issued since they had suspended their own boletas about two months before, that is, when the Topia Mining Company issued its vales. The government agreed to send enough money for the Topia Mining Company to redeem its notesADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3 report, 4 March 1914.
On 12 February 1914 Silvestre Terrazas, the Secretario de Gobierno in Chihuahua, wrote to Tomás Lizárraga D., the Administrador Principal del Timbre, in Parral, thanking him for the details that he had sent about the vales in that district. It was planned to exchange them for Chihuahua money, but they did not yet have enough notes. In the meantime Terrazas instructed the Presidente Municipal to acknowledge (haga efectivos) the vales he listed with the exception of banks that did not have any branches in the state and the Concurso México Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, who had already agreed to back their notes with their bullionST papers.Part I, box 84. The same day Terrazas told the Presidente Municipal to ensure that the companies redeemed immediately, in silver or on cheques drawn on a Chihuahua or foreign bankAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Libros minutarios, 1913, AL12-13-000-102. Presumably paying the Tesorería rather than individual holders..
Thus, the vales in Parral were gradually redeemed, although it took some time because of a delay in receiving sufficient of the new sábanas with which to replace them. It was also not without difficulties: when the Tesorero Municipal heard that the Recaudación de Rentas had received funds to make the exchange, it sent over $1,000 in vales, but the Recaudación only accepted $500, claiming that the rest were too well used, and the Administración del Timbre refused to accept other vales with which the Tesorería tried to pay its taxesAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Correspondencia, caja 69, exp 1 report of Tesorero Municipal, 18 February 1914. On 5 March the “Unión Mercantil” was still complainingAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Correspondencia, caja 69, exp 1.
Compañía del Ferrocarril Parral y Durango (Parral y Durango Rail Road Company)
The Parral y Durango Rail Road Company was incorporated in Colorado in 1898 and owned the line from Minas Nuevas, Chihuahua to Paraje Seco, Durango, built under a concession granted on 29 June 1898. From Rincón it had a narrow gauge branch line to Parral, which connected with the Parral branch of the Mexican Central Railroad.
This company made an issue in 1913 to pay its workers because of the shortage of banknotes, though its representative thought that the total amount was very insignificant, and might have made another issue in 1916. The notes were signed either by R. J. Long, the general manager, or by J. Reno Wilson. Unfortunately, the company’s records were reduced to ashes in one of the Villista raidsAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Actas, caja 23, exp 19 evidence of Manual Cortés.
As stated above the Topia Mining Company issued $5,412.30 in “Vales al Portador”, which were accepted by all businesses and exchanged monthly for cheques drawn on CuliacánADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3 report, 4 March 1914.
Plutarco C. Almeida
Concurso México Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company
Although geographically in Durango, Guanaceví had close ties with Parral. The Concurso México Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company issued a $5 note dated 15 November 1913.
A notice dated 26 December 1913 stated that henceforth the company’s vales would not be accepted in public offices and their circulation was prohibited as the company was apparently insolvent, but by 31 December it had give adequate security to the Chihuahua state government and the Presidencia Municipal was told that it could receive and exchange this moneyAMP, Tesorería, Tesorería, Correspondencia, caja 165, exp. 1 telegarm from Silvestre Terrazas, Secretario de Gobierno, 31 December 1913.
On 3 January 1914 the Presidente Municipal asked holders of these Concurso vales to report on Wednesday, 7 January, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. so that he knew how many notes were outstanding and how much he needed to ask for to be able to exchange themAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Libros minutarios, 1913, AL12-13-000-102.
On 17 January J. J. Briones, the Jefe Municipal of Guanaceví reported that the amount issued by the Concurso to date was $153,000ADUR, Libro Copiador 267, Hacienda 11 July 1913 - 25 April 1914, p697.
The company later issued $1 cheques, addressed to H. Arrendondo, good for merchandise to be debited to the company's account. One is handstamped with the date 18 August 1914.
Both these notes are signed by the cajero of the company, Alberto Terrones Benitez..
Alberto Terrones Benitez was born in Nombre de Dios on 3 July 1887. He graduated in law and also studied economics, specialising in mining law and economics.
He moved to Guanaceví and worked for the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company. In December 1915 he was detained on the orders of General Francisco Murguia but his supporters claimed that he was not a Villista and had stayed in Guanaceví merely for professional reasonsADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno, Sección Siglo XIX, Serie Correspondencia, Subserie Revolución, gaveta 7, nombre 38. By March 1916 the U.S. State Department was pressing for his releaseADUR. Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno, Sección Siglo XIX, Serie Correspondencia, Subserie Revolución, gaveta 7, nombre 38.
E. F. Notts
Hacienda de Anita
E. F.Knotts was the signatory on a series of vales, (5c, 10c, 25c, $1 (two types) and $5) dated October and November 1913 and also the signatory as proprietor on a $5 vale issued by the smelter Hacienda de Anita, Guanaceví in February 1914. The Hacienda de Anita also issued $1 and $5 vales dated January 1914, given out in exchange for metal bought by the hacienda and redeemable when communications were resumed and the smelters at Torreon or Chihuahua functioning.
The Tesoreria Municipal in Parral distinguished Concurso vales from Guanaceví vales as on 9 March 1914 it reported that it had $354.00 of the former and $93.75 of the latterAMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Correspondencia, caja 69, exp 1. The latter were probably vales issued by the Jefatura Municipal of Guanaceví. We know of two different types of $1 notes issued in December 1913.
On 7 January 1914 the Presidente Municipal of San Isidro de las Cuevas reported that to date people had presented $2,200 in Guanacevi vales and he expected the figure to rise to $2,500AMP, Gobierno, Jefatura Política y Presidencia Municipal, Correspondencia, caja 69, exp 1.
On 22 January J. J. Briones, the Jefe Municipal of Guanaceví reported that his Jefatura has issued 3,904 $1 vales ‘garantizado con metales concentrados que tiene en su poder y que espulsamente ensayados y deduciendo misma fletes maquina producirán la cantidad necesaria para el pago’ADUR, Fondo Secretaria General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.7 Correspondencia, caja 7, nombre 12.
Over a year later, on 23 July 1915, Dionosio Ruiz and other businesses in Guanaceví asked the governor to allow the local Jefatura to print a quantity of 5c, 10c, 25c and 50c vales, guaranteed by a deposit of Durango or Chihuahua notes, to overcome the dire troubles caused by the shortage of small change. Instead, the governor told the Dirección General de Rentas to send the local Subrecaudación de Contribuciones $2,000 in fractional currencyADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno, Sección Siglo XIX, Serie Correspondencia, Subserie Revolución, gaveta 7, nombre 15 and ADUR, Libro Copiador 304, Hacienda 20 May 1915 - 1 March 1916, p352, p354 and p355.
Compañía Agrícola del Tiahualilo
A $1 and a $10 vale are known from this ranch. The second, dated 13 October 1913, was time-limited to ten days and redeemable in the hacienda's tienda de raya.
On 7 December 1918 the governor authorised the Presidente Municipal of Mapimí to issue 50c and $1 vales until there was enough fractional currency availableADUR, Fondo Secretaria General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.12 Municipios, Nombre 208 but on 10 December clarified this to state that the authorization was for the Compañía Minera de PeñolesADUR, Fondo Secretaria General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.12 Municipios, Nombre 208. So these two notes probably date from this time.
On 31 August 1913 it was reported that General Domingo B. Yuriar had met with the principal companies in the Laguna Comarca and would make an issue of $100,000 in bonos, to meet his costs. The issue would be fully guaranteed and circulate freelyEl Demócrata, Segunda Época, Tomo II, Núm. 6, 31 August 1913.
Rather than a military issue this seems to refer to vales issued by the Compañía Industrial Jabonera de la Laguna and the Compañía Algodonera e Industrial de la Laguna of Gómez Palacio. These refer to a contract (escritura pública número 788) of 21 August 1913.
The Compañía Industrial Jabonera was organized in 1898 by the Terrazas-family, Juan Brittingham, a North American, and Tomás Mendrichaga, a Monterrey industrialist, landowner, and president of the Banco Mercantil de Monterrey, as a cooperative venture joining the interests of cottonseed producers and processors. The company manufactured cottonseed soap, and, most important, glycerine, a key element in high explosives. Although after 1902 a bitter dispute arose between the cotton planters and the company over the low prices paid for seed, the Jabonera was typical of Enrique Creel's ambitious efforts to coordinate the business activities of various regional elites and to extend his family's economic empire beyond the borders of Chihuahua.
The Compañía Industrial Jabonera was intrinsically connected with the Compañía Nacional Mexicana de Dinamita y Explosiva, which epitomized the profitable combination of regional, national, and foreign interests and the importance of political influence during the Diaz era. Established by the Terrazas-Creels, Brittingham, the Financiera por la Industria en México (a consortium of Mexico City investors), and the Societe Centrale de Dynamite of France, the company obtained a concession to manufacture dynamite in Mexico. With the cooperation of the Mexican government (the sons of both Porfirio Diaz and Jose Y. Limantour were on the board of directors) which raised the tariff on imported explosives and exempted the company from all import duties, the new trust acquired a monopoly on dynamite sales. The Terrazas-Creels profited doubly by selling glycerine from their Jabonera operation at high prices to the dynamite monopoly and then selling dynamite at high prices to desperate mine owners. Despite its obviously detrimental effect on the mining industry, the powerful trust operated unchecked.
In late February 1914 the Jefe Politico of Torreón, Silvestre Dorador, prohibited companies from issuing paper money or tarjetas de valor. He gave them 15 days to withdraw their issues or face punishment under the law¡Patria Libre!, Tomo II, Núm. 20, 17 February 1914. Ironically, Dorador was a printer and so might have produced some of these vales.
On 24 April Pastor Rouaix told Coronel Manuel Madinabeitia, Villa’s Jefe del Estado Mayor in Torreón, that as the notes of the Cía. Industrial Jabonera de la Laguna and of the Cía. Algodonera were been accepted with difficulty it would be convenient to withdraw them, exchanging them for soap or wheatADUR, Libro Copiador 267, Hacienda 11 July 1913 - 25 April 1914, p987. A few days later a newspaper reported that, because of the depreciation of these two companies' notes, the government had arranged with the Jefatura de Armas in Torreón to redeem them, for the account of the state, in the Dirección General de Rentas in Torreón and in the Recaudación in Lerdo. The companies would honour the redeemed notes with soap and wheatEl Demócrata, Segunda Época, Tomo II, Núm.95, 29 April 1914.
These vales are dated 7 October 1913, the same as the bank-on-bank cheques, and will have also been issued because of the lack of currency while Gómez Palacio was cut off from the rest of the country.
Trad’s father, Miguel Trad Jacob, was originally from Lebanon so his son could be described as ‘a subject of the sultan of Turkey’. Trad senior was an architect, responsible for the Moorish style clock tower in Ciudad Lerdo. Trad himself was involved in general commission business, banking and cotton buying in the Comarca Lagunera.
He suffered during the Revolution. In July 1914 he was sued in the El Paso court with the plaintiff asking for the attachment of five carloads of cotton in the El Paso yards since Trad had not paid the rental on one plantation and 25 percent of the cotton produced on two other plantationsEl Paso Herald, 31 July 1914. In September 1914 he was sued in the same court for the payment of a draft for $28,000 U. S. drawn in Gomez PalacioEl Paso Herald, 24 September 1914.
On 16 February 1916 Trad wrote to the governor asking to be excused paying his taxes. His ranches, “Nazareno y Anexas” and “Sombreretillo y Anexas”, had been confiscated on 29 March 1915 and returned six months later, on 22 September, but in a far worse state, missing all the cotton that he had had, some of his mules, his tools and other effectsADUR, Fondo Secretaria General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.7 Correspondencia, caja 7, nombre 57.
He did not seem to recover as in November 1920 the Torreón press reported that he had been arrested in Mexico City and declared in bankruptcy. It was believed that the failure was probably due to large loans to the cotton raisers on premature cropsEl Paso Herald, 30 November 1920.
Minas de Candelaria
On 2 March 1914 representatives of the workers at the Minas de Candelaria in San Dimas complained to the Jefe Político, Rodolfo Salcido, that the company had been told by the government to withdraw the vales with which it was paying workersADUR, Fondo Secretaria General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.7 Correspondencia, caja 7, nombre 12.
Empresa de Tranvías de Durango
Cámara de Comercio
On 25 September 1915 the local Cámara de Comercio proposed to the governor, Máximo García, that they address the problems of the hoarding of small notes by an issue of $1 notes. These would be solely transitory and to facilitate change. They would be valid for a month and have to be exchanged, within the first ten days of the next month, for new notes of a different design, or would lose their value. Up to $300 worth of notes would be exchanged for notes of the same value: above that they would be exchanged for $20 Estado de Chihuahua notes. So no one would have any reason to hoard the notes or take them out of the stateADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno, Sección Siglo XIX, Serie Correspondencia, Subserie Revolución, gaveta 6, nombre 79.
A. Dovali, the Secretario de Gobierno, acknowleged the proposal on 11 October and said that he was studying itADUR, Libro Copiador 304, Hacienda 20 May 1915 - 1 March 1916, p541.
Oficina de Bienes Intervenidos y Reclamaciones
On 10 January 1916 the governor told the Jefe de la Oficina de Bienes Intervenidos y Reclamaciones that he could not authorise the jefe to issue vales for $500, as requested, but that the jefe could authorize boletosADUR, Libro Copiador 304, Hacienda 20 May 1915 - 1 March 1916, p772 letter F. Castaños, Secretario Interino, Durango, to Jefe de la Oficina de Bienes Intervenidos y Reclamaciones, 10 January 1916.
Presumably the office wanted to use such notes to pay the workers on haciendas that it had intervened, such as the earlier issue for the Hacienda La Concha.
San José de la Parilla
Jesús María Galdívar
This storekeeper issued a few vales in late 1913ADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3.
This storekeeper issued a few vales in late 1913ADUR, Fondo Secretaría General de Gobierno (Siglo XX), Sección 6 Gobierno, Serie 6.1 Acuerdos, caja 1, nombre 3.