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Chamber of Commerce - Veracruz

On 19 January 1914, during Huerta’s regime, the Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Veracruz, through their president, Juan Gómez y Oreján, asked the Secretaría de Hacienda for permission to issue vales al portador for 10c, 20c and 50c, having deposited the same amount in a bankEl Diario, Año VIII, Núm. 2114, 20 January 1914; El Imparcial, 20 January 1914. However, after consideration, the Secretaría refused the request, arguing that it was against the law and would cause unnecessary alarmEl País, Año X, Núm. 4514, 21 January 1914. This report says the request was for vales of 10c, 15c and 25c; The Mexican Herald, 22 January 1914. In March or April 1914 the Cámara Nacional de Comercio was authorized to issue vales in values up to fifty centavos. They circulated widely but by late June had disappeared. It was not known why this had happened but thought that they might have been taken to local ranches by people who daily brought foodstuffs into the city for saleEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1189, 17 June 1914.

On 16 June the Cámara met in an extraordinary session to finalise the details of the cheques that it was to issue the following week. The Americans had occupied Veracruz on 21 April and on 13 JuneEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1195, 23 June 1914 the commander in charge, Brigadier General Frederick Funston, had given permission for $16,000, though this was felt to be not enough to address the lack of change. The Cámara agreed that the cheques, drawn on the Banco Mercantil de Veracruz, would be

  Series from to total
number
total
value
10c C 1 10000 10,000 1,000
25c B 1 20000 20,000 5,000
50c A 1 20000 20,000 10,000
          $16,000

 

Each business would deposit the value of the cheques it required in cash in the Banco Mercantil. Designs were approved and it was hoped that the notes would be in circulation in the next weekEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1189, 17 June 1914. However, the Cámara held another extraordinary meeting the next week. Almost all the members of the Cámara signed an agreement to accept the notes without restriction. They examined various models presented by different printing houses and named a committee to study the details and decide on a printer. It was expected that printing, numbering and signing of the notes would take twelve of fifteen daysEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1195, 23 June 1914.

The designs were presented to the military authorities and approved, and the printing house started work, expecting to deliver the notes before 10 July. However signing 30,000 notes (10,000 of each denomination) by hand would take time and they were not expected to be ready until 20 July.

  Series from to total
number
total
value
signature
1
signature
2
 
10c C 1   10,000 $  1,000 Macía Stache includes numbers 2203 to 6915 CNBanxico #6477
  10000     includes number 9855
25c B 1   20,000 5,000   Santa Cruz includes numbers 929 to 6108 CNBanxico #12322
  20000     includes number 18498
50c A 1   20,000 10,000     includes number 11771
    Loustau Gómez Oreján includes number 17627CNBanxico #12323
  20000     includes number  19970
          $16,000      

 

The notes carry the printed date of 1 July and have two hand-written signatures. There were (originally) five signatories, from among the members of the CámaraEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1200, 28 June 1914. The signatories included Juan Gómez Oreján, Roman Macía, Pablo Stache, Diego Santa Cruz, J.(?) Loustau and [          ][identification needed]As potential signatories, members were José González, M. Campos, A. Domínguez, Manuel Rendón, Arcadio Suazo, M. D. Carballo, Antonio Hernández, José Freyro, Juan Dereaux, Fernando López, R. de J. Hajaid, G. González Pontón, Angel Carballo, M. M. García, Carlos Medina L. B., Enrique Tenorio, Francisco Paris Murillo, Juan J. Rodríguez, M. Sánchez and Miguel Acosta.

Juan Gómez OrejánJuan Gómez Oreján, of the company Gómez Hermanos, was elected a director of the Veracruz Banking Company in 1909The Mexican Herald, 10 February 1909 and was also a shareholder in, and agent for, the Compañía Trasatlántica Española. He was treasurer of the Cámara for 1911-1913La Opinión, Veracruz, 30 January 1911 and president from 1913 to 1916.

He died in early 1919El Pueblo, 3 February 1919.

sig Gomez

In January 1901 Roman Macía Masjuan, who was married to Angela Balsa, formed a company, Balsa Hermanos, to deal in the cultivation of tobacco, the purchase, sale, and exploitation of raw and processed tobacco, and the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes under the "La Prueba" brandLa Gaceta Comercial, 22 January 1901. In June 1914 he was advertising as “El Triunfo, Wholesale Cuban Cigar Factory maker of famous “Panales”” with a branch in HavanaThe Mexican Herald, 10 June 1914.

sig Macia

Pablo Stache was a German businessman, born in 1868. In 1899 he was listed as an importer and supplier of coal and coke. In 1902 he was mentioned as one of the most important commission brokers in Veracruz and the next year listed as an importer of coal, coke, iron ingots and wineEl Directorio general de la República Mexicana, 1903-1904, Ruhland.

Pablo Stache was secretary of the Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Veracruz in 1913La Opinión, 17 September 1913.

sig Hach
Diego Santa Cruz was elected to the Cámara’s board for 1911-1913La Opinión, Veracruz, Tomo XIV, Núm. 2040, 13 January 1911 and treasurer for the period 1915-1916El Pueblo, 13 January 1915. sig CC Veracruz 1

J.(?) Loustau

D. Loustau & Cía. was a customs agency working in Veracruz since pre-Revolutionary timesEl Pais, 27 May 1911. By 1903 it had a train of launches for unloading stores, and warehousing and provisioning facilitiesEl Directorio general de la República Mexicana, 1903-1904, Ruhland. By 1909 it was also engaged in river traffic from Veracruz down the coast and up the Papaloapan River, using barges and a tow boatThe Mexican Herald, 25 September 1909.

From 1914 to 1916 the company widened the services it offered to include many formerly carried out by banks, such as money exchange, receiving and making payments, and sending remittances to banks in the United States. It seems that either using its own boats, or through his connections with boat companies, D. Loustau & Cía. was able to send and receive from the United States, money orders, cheques, banknotes, and specie, in times when it was impossible to carry out these transactions through other meansEl Demócrata, 21 April 1920.

sig CC Veracruz 3
  sig CC Veracruz 2

 

They began to sign the cheques on 10 JulyEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1212, 10 July 1914. The newspaper reported that there were four denominations, including a 5c note, but this was a mistake and put them into circulation on 16 JulyEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1216, 17 July 1914.

On 25 July the local newspaper printed the rules under which the Banco Mercantil agreed to pay the Cámara’s cheques.

There were 50,000 cheques in 500 books. By 25 July 3,000 10c, 5,000 25c and 20,000 50c notes had been signedEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1224, 25 July 1914.

On 15 August it was reported that despite the cheques for the past three days there had been an extreme lack of small change, without a satisfactory explanation of what had happened to the cheques . It was probable that the problem would be resolved once and for all by the government putting cartones into circulationEl Dictamen, Año XVI, Núm. 1245, 15 August 1914.

Withdrawal

The bank kept a register of the cheques that it redeemed. The first bookAGN, SC224 Antiguos Bancos de Emisión, caja 298, libro [ ] Registro de Cheques pagados de la Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Veracruz. Númo. 1 recorded payments from 12 October 1914 to 23 April 1919. The highest serial numbers recorded10c Series C highest number 9855, 25c Serie B highest number 18498. 50c Serie A highest number 19970 suggest that the whole print run was issued. The cheques were redeemed with regularity until the end of January 1915 with a cumulative total of $9,121.15, then occasionally in 1916 until 17 October 1916 with a cumulative total of $9,303.60, and then a large amount on 23 April 1919. However, this redemption records 481 50c cheques and 288 25c cheques before being carried forward to the second book (Libro no. 2) which has disappeared. So the known cumulative total is $9,616.10 (of an original $16,000).

 

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