Private issues (the northwest)
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.