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Haciendas during the Revolution

Michoacan haciendas

These low value notes will have been used to pay wages to the workers, most probably because of a lack of small change but paying in vales tied the workers even more tightly to the hacienda and its company store (tienda de raya).

La Piedad

Hacienda La Tepuza

La Tepuza 1c

La Tepuza 5c

La Tepuza 10c

La Tepuza 20c

La Tepuza 25c

These were produced by Juan Kaiser of GuadalajaraJuan Kaiser Schwab was born in Leusigen, Switzerland in 1858, and in 1881, at the age of twenty-three, sought his fortune in South America, travelling from Chile to Bolivia and from Peru to Panama. In 1887 he settled in Mexico City, and was employed by the stationers “La Helvetía”. At the end of that year, with his elder brother Arnoldo, he acquired a bookshop, “Al Libro Mayor”, in San Luis Potosí. In 1899 he moved to Guadalajara and founded “Al Libro de Caja,” dealing in printing, binding, office stationery and books in general. The Kaiser brothers were instrumental in introducing the picture postcard to San Luis Potosí and, probably, Guadalajara. Juan Kaiser died in 1916, and was succeeded by his son, Javier, who in time handed the business over to its employees and went to live in Switzerland, his ancestral home.. Kaiser printed tokens, mainly for haciendas in Jalisco. These notes are of thick paper or, more often, pressboard and there are a few common designs, most noticeably the round cartón with the denomination on the face and the same in Roman numerals (and often the hacienda’s brand) on the reverse. They usually carried the imprint “J.K.G” (for Juan Kaiser Guadalajara) or some variation, and the number of the order (modelo) which allows the various issues to be dated. These are modelo 4605.

Ixtlán de los Hervores

Hacienda de San Simón

Ixtlan 50c

Ixtlan 50c reverse

Ixtlan 1

Ixtlan 1 reverse

This hacienda, run by José M. Sánchez Hnos., had 50c and $1 notes printed by Juan Kaiser with modelo 5441.


Hacienda de Guaracha

This colonial hacienda, in Villamar, was one of the principal sugar producer in the area. By 1915 its owner, Diego Moreno, President of the Banco de Jalisco, had died and it was run by his heirs. It produced a series of notes dated 16 September 1915.

Guaracha 5c

Guaracha 10c

Guaracha 20c

Guaracha 50c

Guaracha 5c

It also had coupons for the various units - botica (pharmacy), pasturas (pasture), huerta (orchard) and molino (mill). Known coupons are 

  1c 2c 3c 5c 10c 15c 20c
Botica       X X   X
Pasturas       X X X X
Huerta       X X   X
Molino X X X X      


Guaracha Botica 5c

Guaracha Botica 10c

Guaracha 20c botica

Guaracha 5c pasturas

Guaracha 10c pasturas

Guaracha 15c pasturas

Guaracha Pastura 20c

Guaracha Huerta 5c

Guaracha Huerta 10c

Guaracha 20c huerta

Guaracha 1c molino

Guaracha 2c molino

Guaracha 3c molino

Guaracha Molino 5c


Las Haciendas del Cerrito and La Rinconada

Hacienda El Llano

The hacienda El Llano in Zamora belonged to the Dávalos family. This note is dated 26 June 1915.

Around March 1915 the overseer of El Llano, Abundio Carriedo, issued some cartones with his signature. Afterwards they used a stamp of the hacienda and issued some more, until Señorita Maria Dolores Méndez Verduzco learnt of them and called them in. So they were in use for just a couple of months.

María G. Dávalos was in Mexico City at this time and disowned the issue as soon as she learnt of it. In July 1917 a couple of people tried to get the Presidencia Municipal to encash some fichas but the Presidencia acknowledged that Dávalos had no responsabilityAMZ, sección Secretaría, caja 58, Exp. 31.

Hacienda Los Espinos

The main house at Los Espinos, according to experts, dates from the mid-eighteenth century, although it was built in different stages, concluding its construction in the late nineteenth century. Zamora’s Municipal Archive and the directory The Haciendas of México (1886) place on record that at the end of the nineteenth century, the hacienda belonged to Marcelo Matos who sold the property to Benito Magaña Peña who came from the municipality of Tlazazalca to settle permanently in Zamora after buying the hacienda.

Apparently, in Los Espinos Benito Magaña did not produce special notes (at least we do not know about the existence of any) but, according to the evidence, used the notes issued by the municipality and counter stamped them in red ink. At least on the 50 centavos notes he also embossed his name. These two counterstamped municipal notes are the only ones reported and they both came from inside the hacienda.



(based on "Report of Hacienda Los Espinos Paper Money" by Ricardo Vargas Verduzco in USMexNA journal December 1915)

La Negociación Agrícola de Cotiro

Ario de Rosales

Hacienda de Tepenahua y Anexas

This hacienda, owned by Fernandez y Castaño, produced notes of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 for use in their tienda. These simple but colourful notes were printed locally by tipografia J. Buitron of Pátzcuaro.

Ario 5c

Ario 5c reverse

Ario 20c

Ario 1

Ario 1 reverse

Ario 2

Ario 2 reverse


Hacienda de Uspero

This hacienda was also owned by Dante Cusi, who owned the hacienda Nueva Italia (below).

Nueva Italia

Haciendas Nueva Italia and Lombardia

  series to from total
Hda. Lombardia
10c G         includes number 1241
20c H         includes number 470
I         includes number 289CNBanxico #11573
Hda. Nueva Italia
10c C         includes number 240CNBanxico #11572
20c C         includes number 136


These two haciendas were run by the Negociación Agrícola del Valle del Marquez.

Nueva Italia (now Múgica) was founded in 1909 by the Italian Dante Cusi, who introduced the most complex system of irrigation in Latin America for its time and produced cotton, rice, maize, melons and limes. Incidntally, when Cusi, after spending half a million pesos on irrigation works, wanted to us the water of his own estate, Minister of Fomento, Olegario Molina, said, “No,” but “Yes,” if he had the necessary papers drawn up by Joaquín Casasús, - fee, 30,000 pesos.


Haciendas de Pedernales y Chupio

Pedernales and Chupio were two adjacent haciendas in Tacámbaro. In 1889 Tacámbaro was the leading area for the production of sugar and aguadiente in the whole of Michoacán. The most productive sugar plantations were Puruarán and Cahulote; the next was Pedernales and the third, Chupio, which was then owned by Teofila León de Ortizmost of this information is from Tayra Belinda González Orea Rodríguez, Estudio Económico de dos Haciendas del Centro de México durante el Movimiento Revolucionario de 1913-1919, UNAM, 20....

Pedernales was owned by Luis Bermejillo, the Marqués de Mohernando. In October 1913 Bermejillo was in Spain and gave Toribio Esquivel Obregón power to administer his haciendas. Unfortunately, at the end of the year Esquivel Obregón was forced to flee the country, handing power to José de la Macorra.

From October 1914 until September 1915 Pedernales was expropriated by the rebel government. José Acha, the administrador, and all the Spaniards were forced to flee and governor Gertrudis Sánchez appointed Luis Mazari as administrador and Manuel Hernández as interventor. With the triumph of the Carrancistas the hacienda was returned to Luis Bermejillo, who designated a new administrator, José Signo. Signo had to deal with the depredations of the rebel Inés Chávez García of the Tercera Brigada Michoacana of the Ejercito Reorganizador Nacional, who stole the sugar intended to pay the wages.

In November 1915, under the advice of José de la and Macorra and Toribio Esquivel Obregón, Luis Bermejillo acquired the hacienda de Chupio, which fitted well with the neighbouring Pedernales. The vendor, the Compañía Agrícola de Chupio, at first asked for a million pesos in Carrancista currency, but de la Macorra managed to get this reduced to $850,000, to be paid in shares of the Compañía Minera de Peñoles.

Chupio was returned to its new owner on 29 February 1916. For this Bermejillo had to agree a contract with the Carrancista Maximiano García, by which he had to seld the whole of the sugar cane harvest to the Sociedad M. García for a sum payable in notes of the Banco Nacional, Banco de Londres y México or any of the banks recognised by the Constitutionalist government.

Because of the losses he had suffered in 1917 Bermejillo decided to change administradores and appointed Augusto Madriñan. On various occasions Madriñan was in contact with Inés Chávez García to avoid further robberies. Inés Chávez García demanded forced loans and that the hacienda did not export any of its produce, but Madriñan replied that he had no money and also tried to send some of his harvest to the warehouses in Tacámaro, for which Inés Chávez García threaten to come to the hacienda and shoot everyoneUIA, A.T.E.O. S.D, caja 47, exp. 10, fojas 00719-00720.Finally, Madriñan agreed, so for the first months of 1918 Pedernales was practically in the hands of rebels.

Luis Bermejillo returned to Mexico to discover what was happening with his haciendas. In July 1919 he rented the two haciendas of Pedernales and Chupio to the administrador, Augusto Madriñan, thus guaranteeing himself an income as long as the Revolution continuedUIA, A.T.E.O, S.D, cajas 48 and 49, exps. 1 and 9, fojas 00084 and 00255.

The amount the Hacienda de Pedernales paid out in wages in 1918 was around $10,000 a monthJanuary    $16,995.75
February    19,425.06
March        18,738.84
April             5,302.57
May             6,087.16
June            7,547.19
July             4,913.06
August        7,920.63
September  8,759.73
October     12,409.01
November 14,218.51
December 13,633.80
Total      $135,951.31 (UIA, A.T.E.O, S.D, caja 49, exp. 8, foja 00108)

H Pedernales 20c

H Pedernales 20c reverse

H Pedernales 50c

H Pedernales 50c reverse

H Pedernales $1

H Pedernales $1 reverse

H Pedernales $2

H Pedernales $2 reverse

  to from total
20c         includes number 4958CNBanxico #11610
50c         includes number 3540CNBanxico #11611
$1         includes number 3431CNBanxico #11612
$2         includes number 574CNBanxico #11613


These rather late (known notes are dated 10 August 1919) notes from two haciendas in the municipio of Tacámbaro promise to be redeemable with a cheque drawn on a Morelia bank. Identifiable signatures include H. García as Cajero de Pedernales and Augusto Madriñan as Administrador. There is also space for the Cajero de Chupio who will have signed the notes issued on his hacienda.

H. García sig Pedernales Cajero
Augusto Madriñan sig Pedernales Administrator


The Compañía Agrícola Franco-Mexicana

Cia Agricola Franco MexicanaCarlos Markassuza came to Mexico from the Basque region of Spain in around 1872 and became a wealthy landowner. On 1 January 1911 he acquired the Hacienda de Tupátaro in Guanajuato, very close to three others that he already owned in Purúandiro, Michoacán, and in April 1911 he created the Compañía Agrícola Franco-Mexicana, S. A. that grouped together the Tupátaro, Zurumuato and Santa Ana Mancera haciendas.

In 1910 Carlos brought his seventeen-year-old nephew, Charles Félix Markassuza, from Spain in to be the administrator of his hacienda at Zurumuato. In his letters Charles describes the system for paying the peones.

On Sundays, we go to Mass in the church that borders the hacienda. We put all the employees together on the side that is reserved for us. After Mass, we pay the workers, a process that takes from three to four hours. Every week we need more than 2,000 francs, that is 4,000 pesos.

When we need something, we look for it in the tienda; this tienda is on the hacienda itself and belongs to my godfather. The farm workers stock up there, which means that it recovers almost all the money from their pay. By this means, he earns about 30,000 francs per year in the tienda (letter of 6 November 1910)Beñat Çuburu-Ithorotz, “Testimonio fotográfico y epistolar de dos emigrantes vascofranceses“ in Alquimia, Núm. 34, 2008.

Compañía Agrícola Franco Mexicana ½

Compañía Agrícola Franco Mexicana ½ reverse

This note is proof of half a task, with the denomination '20', possibly a 50% advance on wages, and needed to be stamped to be valid.