La Compañía Metalúrgica de Atotonilco El Chico

El Chico

Atotonilco El Chico was the former name of Mineral el Chico, a town about fifteen kilometres north of Pachuca.

The mine had been the property of the Mancera family, one of the richest in Mexico, since 1840 and the Compañía Metalúrgica itself was founded by Gabriel Mancera García de San Vicente, in 1889.

Vales azules

It issued a series of primitive notes based on stereoscope plates, dated March 1915 and signed on the back by Guillermo Mancera and Constantino Pérez Duarte. The company referred to these as vales azules (blue notes).

Atotonilco 10

The $20 notes is dated February 1915

Colección Numismática Banxico #4427

The total issued was $16,473.00AHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 78, exp. 54 letter Pérez Duarte, Pachuca to Herrera Lasso, Mexico City, 4 January 1916.

  number from to Total
50c        
$1        
$2        
$5        
$10        
$20        
        $16,473.00

Cartones

On 27 May 1915 governor General Alfredo J. Machuca agreed to a request from the company to issue $4,000.00 in vales of 5c, 10c and 20c. Machuca stipulated that the company should deposit a similar amount in the Tesorería General del Estado, but the company issued their vales without making any depositAGN, Fondo Gobernación Periodo Revolucionario, caja 93, exp. 36, folletos 8 Secretario general L. de la Vega to [    ], Pachuca, 20 August 1915. These cartones were printed by the Tipografia Artistica in Pachuca, and are known datestamped May 1915.

Atotonilco 2 5c

Atotonilco 2 5c reverse

The total value of cartones issued was $946.30AHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 78, exp. 54 letter Pérez Duarte, Pachuca to Herrera Lasso, Mexico City, 4 January 1916.

  number from to Total
5c        
10c        
20c        
        $946.30

Cheques

The Tipografia Artistica also produced a series of higher value notes (50c, $1 and $5).


On the reverse of the notes it states ‘Este cheque se pagará a la vista, a su presentación, en las oficinas de la Cía. en México, o en el Mineral de El Chico, siempre que el monto de los cheques presentados sea de veinte pesos o múltiplo de esta cantidad, pues el pago en la forma de cheques se hace en vista de la extrema escasez de billetes de pequeña denominación.’

On 15 June 1915 the company's offices in Mexico City wrote to Constantino Pérez Duarte that it had received the models of cartones and cheques and wanted to know how much he had issued, as it had no data. It understood that it needed to make a further issueAHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5.

The total value of printed cheques issued was $30,095.00AHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 78, exp. 54 letter Pérez Duarte, Pachuca to Herrera Lasso, Mexico City, 4 January 1916.

  Series number from to Total
50c A        
$1 B        
$5 C        
          $30,095.00

Withdrawal

On 9 September the Secretaría de Gobernación stated that the government should ensure the company makes a deposit in the Tesorería General and, above all, fix a period for withdrawing this issueAGN, Fondo Gobernación Periodo Revolucionario, caja 93, exp. 36, folletos 8. On 2 December the board of directors, meeting in Mexico City, agreed, in accordance with the state government’s notice that these cheques should be withdrawn as soon as possible, to ask the government to issue notices recalling the notesAHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5 letter Herrera Lasso to Pérez Duarte, 13 December 1915. Pérez Duarte replied that as the government had not insisted on the matter he felt it more prudent to wait for some indication on its partAHMM, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 77, exp. 40 letter Pérez Duarte to Lasso, 17 December 1915.

According to reports El Chico sent the following notes to the head offices in Mexico City to be amortised AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5.

  Halves of vales azules Vales azules Cheques Cartones  
15 November 1915 3,885.00 973.00 490.00   5,348.00AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5
27 November 1915 1,241.00 2,791.50     4,032.50
By 27 December 1915 906.50 8,323.50   40.95 AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 77, exp. 4)
29 December 1915 26.00 2,280.00       2,306.00 AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5
29 December 1915         2,050.00 AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5
3 January 1916         281.00 AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Copiador de Cartas, 3 August 1914 – 21 March 1916, vol. 88, exp. 5
  3,885.00 3,146.50 16,216.00 40.95  

  
However, a letter of 4 January 1916 has the following summary:

   3,885.00 3,120.50 11,805.00 40.95 AHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 78, exp. 54 letter Constantino Pérez Duarte, Pachuca to Luis Herrera Lasso, Mexico City,4 January 1916
discrepancy          

  

On 4 January 1916 the company wrote to Luis Herrera Lasso in Mexico City that after the government’s circular was published they were pressurised to give a sum equivalent to the amount of vales issued to Tesorería del Estado and, as almost all the other companies complied, handed over $21,917.80 (though they later realized that the amount still to be redeemed was $23,917.80). The Tesorería had asked for someone to check the notes and an employee of the Compañía Minera de San Rafael was to do the task for both companies. Once checked and perforated the notes would be handed over in return for monies from the companies’ accounts. In order not to have to change their submission they set about redeeming $2,000 of their vales. So the current state of affairs was:

Total issue of vales azules     16,473.00
Total issue of cheques     30,095.00
Total issue of cartones     946.30
Vales sent to Mexico City in halves   3,885.00  
In Mexico City according to letter of 27 December vales 3,120.50  
  cheques 11,805.00  
  cartones 40.95  
In Pachuca to be sent to Mexico City vales 1,721.50  
  cheques 2,913.50  
  vales 110.05  
Entrusted to the Tesorería General del Estado    21,917.80  
Outstanding   2,000.00  
    47,514.30 47,514.30

They had already redeemed more than $600 of the $2,000 outstandingAHMM, Fondo Norteamericano, Sección Compañía Metalúrgica de Atononilco El Chico, Luis Herrera y Lasso, vol. 78, exp. 54 letter Constantino Pérez Duarte, Pachuca to Luis Herrera Lasso, Mexico City,4 January 1916. The titles in the table has been corrected.