Bedsheets (sábanas) of the three Manuels

These notes were issued under the Zapatista Provisional State Government, headquartered in the city of Misantla for approximately six months.

The four denominations of these notes were $1, $5, $10 and $20, all in the "A" series.  The impressions, designs, and numbers were printed in black ink although the numbers often appear blue. The signatures were also printed in black ink. The stencils were engraved in the city of Jalapa and printed in the “Le Imprime” printshop in Misantla. This printshop was owned by Professor Pedro Ramírez Olivares and was controlled by the government for the production of these notes.  Later the press was dismantled and carried to the town of Juchique, for use under the printer Eduardo Viñas.

The paper used in the printing was a coarse stock of poor quality paper, measuring on average 72mm wide and 170mm long.  The format varied only as to denomination.

The legend on the reverse reads  “La Tesorería General del Edo. de Veracruz pagará al portador ….de conformidad con el decreto de 1o de Junio de 1915” and the notes are signed by Manuel Mirón Velorde as Tesorero General, Manuel Armentu as Gobernador Provisional del Estado and Manuel Roselló Gil as Contador.

Manuel Armentu was one of the richest men in the region at the beginning of the 20th century and is remembered for his idealism and vitality.  His coffee plantations Villa-rica, Plan de las Hayas, and Colombia were all situated in the foothills of the Sierra Madre.  It was said that he had over 500,000 productive coffee bushes during his lifetime.  He was also known for being among the first to apply the concept of mechanization to the harvesting of coffee. Together with other men of importance in this region he rose in arms against the Carrancistas. He believed in the cause of Emiliano Zapata, who conferred upon him the title of "Provisional Governor of the State" (of Veracruz).  During the short time he governed he gained the admiration of the populace, and through his efforts the economy of the region blossomed.  His influence reached to Jalacingo and Misantla. The Military Chief of the Zone, General Carlos Arellano, and other military leaders, General Pedro Gavay, Roberto Cejudo, Manuel Inclán (a native of Misantla), Severino Rodríguez, and the famous Nicolás Olmos (nicknamed “El Temazate (The Hostile)") were all under his influence.

The Treasurer General was Manuel Mirón Velarde.  A native of the town of Paso de Novillos (today Martínez de la Torre) he originally worked for the Constitutionalist Government but left to join the Zapatistas.

Manuel Roselló Gil, from Misantla, served as paymaster of the Provisional Government.  Before his affiliation with the Zapatistas he was employed by the administration of the Constitutionalist Government under the direction of Governor Teodoro A. Dehesa.

These very crude, simple banknotes circulated in the region and were known by the people as "the bedsheets of the three Manuels."