Municipal issues from Zamora

In 1915 General Francisco Villa informally appointed General Jesús Síntora as Military Commander in Michoacán. Síntora gained support within Zamora and in July 1915 ordered the town hall to fly the Conventionalist Army flag. Teniente Colonel Luis G. Cardenas became municipal president and Síntora himself took charge of the military forces during the following two months, as he tried to enlarge the Conventionalist Army’s territory against the Constitutionalist troops of General Carranza.

The need for currency made the Conventionists order the production of provisional municipal paper money.

These’ tickets’ are known in denominations ranging from 5 to 50 centavos, although it is more than probable that higher denominations were issued, specifically the one peso ticket commonly made by revolutionary armies in different cities in Mexico and of course in Michoacán. The 20c and 50c values carry the names of Cardenas, Síntora and J. Prado as Tesorero (Treasurer).

On 10 September Síntora received a reinforcement of 400 men from Villa’s Division of the North but on 23 September Constitutionalist troops took over Zamora and Síntora had to withdraw his troops towards the south. So these notes will have been short-lived. That is probably why the 50c ticket has a stamp that reads “VALIDO POR 4 MESES” (valid for four months).

Unfortunately for numismatists, the Zamora Municipal Archive of these years is incomplete, missing even entire years in its collection. Among the missing documents is the “Decree of 6 August 1915” which contained the order for production of the municipal paper money. The document, as is usual in other places, must have stipulated the amounts and denominations of notes, and the authorization of production for Mr. Anaya, the owner of Imprenta Anaya; one of the most important and recognized printers of the city.

Just as an example of these notes and as a proof of survival, I illustrate the very first one, numbered 1, even though it is Series E. This could possibly be because in the middle of the war the army did not pay attention to the series; they only took the tickets and started stamping them on different days and without order. Thus we can see notes stamped on 29 August 1915 with series I and J while others stamped on 11 September are series A and B.

(based on "Report of Hacienda Los Espinos Paper Money" by Ricardo Vargas Verduzco, USMexNA journal December 2015)