The revolution in Morelos

The Villistas

On 30 September 1914 the Presidente Municipal of Miacatlán, José Hernández, wrote to Zapata that he had received a delegation of people who still had $1 notes of the ‘so-called’ Ejército Constitucionalista. Zapata replied that circulation of the ‘so-called’ Ejército Constitucionalista notes was forbidden but that people who went to buy goods in Mexico City could change them thereAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 17, exp 6, f 69. Zapata, from his head-quarters in Cuernavaca, issued a decree banning the Carrancista issues on 10 October. On 15 October Hernandez acknowledged that Carrancista notes were forbidden but could similarly be exchanged in Mexico CityAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 17, exp 7, f 58.

However, Villista notes were not popular. On 31 January 1915 Colonel Zacarías Terres reported that Villa’s notes were worthless in CuautlaAGN, Fondo Convención, caja 5, exp 4, f 7, telegram coronel Zacarías Terres to Otilio E. Montaño. The same day Roque González Garza replied that they were indeed of forced circulation, since the Convention had not yet decreed otherwise, and the Convention was using them to pay its troopsAGN, Fondo Convención, caja 5, exp 4, f 9, telegram Roque González Garza, Cuernavaca, 4 February 1915.

As for other areas supposedly under Conventionist control the people of Morelos preferred Zapata’s coinage to the dubious Chihuahua notes and refused to accept the latter, whilst hoarding the former. As early as 2 February 1915 González Garza found it necessary to decree that Chihuahua paper currency was to be accepted in Morelos by force, if necessary, through only the notes revalidated by his government in Mexico City would be valid. In the next five days González Garza received numerous queries from the Zapatista commanders of various towns about the forced circulation of the Conventionist currency - a niece of Zapata was among those reported to have refused to accept the paper moneyAGN, Archives RGG. González Garza to Presidente Municipal, Jojutla, 17 February 1915.

On 12 February the Comandante Militar in Cuernavaca listed as of compulsory acceptance the issues of the states of Durango, Chihuahua and Sonora, the Monclova, the so-called Villista, the Gobierno Provisional, the Gobierno Constitucionalista and Carbajal "Bonos".

On 29 March 1915 General Francisco Mendoza informed Zapata that the people of Axochiapan were unwilling to accept, amongst other, Villista notes. Again he was instructed to circulate the decrees on forced circulationAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 7, exp 3, f 49. On 31 August General Mauricio Mejia wrote to Zapata that the Hacienda Hospital in Cuautla was refusing to accept the dos caritas with scalloped Tesorería seals (billetes de dos caras con sellos de coronas) which were the commonest type, so troops could not buy goods. He asked for a circular forcing their useAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 15, exp 19, f 41. At the end of the month the Presidente Municipal of Jojutla made a similar reportAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 15, exp 19, f 42.

Chihuahua notes were still being referred to (uncomplimentarily) in February 1916. On 9 February Coronel en Jefe Silviano Lenteno wrote to Zapata from Huehuetlan, that some of his troops had commandeered supplies because all the towns in his zone refused to accept the paper money of the ‘revolución del Sur’, only the Carrancista paper was respected and the Chihuahua money and Revalidados caused difficultiesAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 11, exp 4, f 30 letter SilvianoLenteno, Huehuetlan to Zapata, Tlaltizapan 9 February 1916.