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The Parsons Trading Company

In a contract dated 13 July 1916 (and modified on 4 August) the Parsons Trading Company of New York agreed with M. C. Rolland, the duly authorized representative of the Mexican Government acting in particular for the Government of Yucatan, to print this new issue. According to the contract the notes were to be:

  Series from to total
 $1 A 000001 5000000 5,000,000 $  5,000,000
 $2 B 000001 2500000 2,500,000 5,000,000
$5 C 000001 3000000 3,000,000 15,000,000
$10 D 000001 1500000 1,500,000 15,000,000
$20 F 000001 500000 500,000 10,000,000
$100 G 000001 100000 100,000 10,000,000
        12,600,000 $60,000,000


and so a variation (and combination) of the amounts authorized by the two decrees, núm. 536 and núm. 550. The first four denominations were to carry the legend ‘La Tesorería General del Estado’, stated to be obligatory in accordance with decree núm. 550 of 23 May and signed by the governor, Alvarado, and tesorero general, V. M. Sintra. The two highest denominations were to be entitled ‘La Comisión  Reguladora del Mercado de Henequén’, to be acknowledged as bono de caja issued according to decree nûm. 536 of 9 May (as modified by decree núm. 555 of 29 May) and signed by Alvarado, as Presidente del Consejo General, and Julio Rendón, as Gerente General (General Manager).

Salvador AlvaradoSalvador Alvarado was born on 16 September 1880, in Culiacán, Sinaloa. As a young man, he moved to the port of Guaymas, Sonora, and then to Cananea, Sonora, where he opened his own pharmacy and worked for several years as a pharmacist and merchant. In 1906, he joined the Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party) of the Flores Magón and in 1910 joined the Anti-Reelectionist Party in Sonora. In the same year, he and other young idealists attacked a military barracks in Hermosillo. After its failure Alvarado escaped into Arizona.

He recrossed into Mexico to join the revolution in 1911 and steadily climbed the military ranks from Major to General. He fought with Huerta against Orozco but when Huerta seized the presidency Alvarado joined Carranza, who promoted him to Brigadier General and Commander of the Army of the Southeast.

On 27 February 1915, Carranza named Alvarado Governor and military commander of Yucatán. His forces had little difficulty in putting down the rebel movement and by 19 March 1915 Alvarado had arrived in the capital of Mérida. Alvarado claimed that he had passed over 1,000 decrees during his three-year tenure as governor, with an emphasis on social, education and legal reforms and freeing the Maya from debt servitude. He cancelled their indenture debts with the landowners and established laws for women and child laborers, including domestic workers, defining maximum hours, minimum pay, mandatory rest periods, health and safety standards, and prohibitions on immoral employment. His vision was to change the almost feudal hacienda system into a capitalist system converting the peones into true proletarian workers who were paid wages and in turn would increase production for the henequén plantation owners.

In 1917, Carranza appointed Alvarado Chief of Military Operations for Southeast Mexico, which required that Alvarado spend many months away from Mérida. In November 1918, Alvarado was permanently recalled by Carranza.

Alvarado, along with Adolfo de la Huerta, Alvaro Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles and Benjamín G. Hill, was part of the Sonora faction (los Sonorenses) that became disillusioned with Carranza. In 1919 he founded a newspaper, El Heraldo de México, which he used as a platform to discuss intellectual ideals. These political activities angered Carranza, who had him arrested. He was released in January 1920 and exiled to the United States. Returning from exile, Alvarado and other of Los Sonorenses joined Obregón's Plan of Agua Prieta in April 1920.

Following Carranza's assassination and Adolfo de la Huerta's election as the Interim President of Mexico on 1 June 1920, Alvarado was named Secretary of the Treasury. De la Huerta had inherited an almost bankrupt government, and Alvarado made numerous trips to New York City to secure funds through both loans and publicity of Yucatecan henequén.

In 1921 Alvarado left the Treasury and in 1923 supported his childhood friend, de la Huerta against Obregón. With the defeat of de la Huerta’s rebellion, Alvarado tried to flee to Canada, the United States, and then Guatemala, but was relentlessly pursued by Obregón's men. He was ambushed while fleeing from Obregón's force at El Hormiguero ranchero, between Tenosique, Tabasco and Palenque, Chiapas and was killed on 10 June 1924.

sig Alvarado
Victor M. Sintra sig Cintra

Julio Rendón Alcocer was born In Mérida in 1864. He was a lawyer, teacher and journalist. He was director of the Revista de Mérida and later worked on the Diario de Yucatán under the editorship of Carlos R. Menéndez. He was on the Merida city council and deputy to the Yucatan Congress.

Rendón’s brother, Serapio, also a journalist, was a supporter of Madero who, together with Belisario Domínguez, headed a group of legislators who opposed Huerta and, for his pains, was assassinated on 22 May 1913.

Rendón was appointed by Alvarado manager of the Comisión Reguladora and later was director of the rail company, Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán. In August 1917 he opened a banking business at 2a calle de Capuchinas, número 40, Mexico City. It offered all types of banking with correspondents in the United States and MéridaEl Pueblo, 25 August 1917.

He was also a professor at the Regional School of Teachers (Escuela Normal de Profesores de Yucatán) and a director of the State Literary Institute (Instituto Literario del Estado).

He died in Mérida in 1949.

sig Rendon


The designs were to be prepared by Parsons from rough drafts furnished by the state.

Decree núm. 550 and the original contract had specified that the notes would be ‘al portador a la vista’ but the latter phrase was removed in the modification to the contract.

The Parsons Trading Company undertook to complete delivery of the notes by 31 October, and we know that 720,000 $1 notes were dispatched on the steamer “Esperanza” on 21 September, but other consignments dragged on into December.

The notes were sent still in sheets (so that they could be charged as paper rather than banknotes) and had to be cut and stamped once they reached Mérida. The Secretaría de Hacienda in Mexico City sent a team of six peopleGerardo Chávez, Fernando Torres, Juan Montes de Oca, Miguel Portilla, Jesús Herrerías and José L. Guerrero and on 8 September the person in charge of issuing notes and cartones, Nicolás Ferraez, arranged for them to be paid five pesos a day for their laboursAY, Fondo Poder Ejecutivo Salvador Alvarado 1915-1917, Sección Tesorería General del Estado de Yucatán, Serie Hacienda Pública, vol. 199, exp. 27, letter Tesorero General to governor, Mérida, 12 September 1916.

On 29 October 1918 the new inspector, F. Irabién Rusat the start of the revolution Irabién Rus had joined the Oficina Impresora of the Secretaría de Hacienda, and had headed the Oficina de Resello in Veracruz, Mérida and Tabasco, reported to the governor on the overstamping of the Comisión Reguladora notes. Machines had deteriorated and materials were poor or lacking, so he suggested a visit to Mexico City to purchase new materialsAY, Fondo Poder Ejecutivo 1918, Sección Secretaría General de Gobierno, Serie Gobernación, vol. 410, exp. 28, letter F. Irabién Rus to governor Carlos Castro Morales, 29 October 1918. He added a list of the things that he needed:

50 stamps (dados de resello) for the ‘Gobierno del Estado de Yucatán’ $ 150.00
50 stamps (dados de resello) for the ‘Comisión Reguladora del Mercado de Henequén’ 150.00
50 kilos of red die (polvo rojo carmín obscuro francés) 300.00
50 gallons of Marniz Dmar Número 2 claro 900.00


Not all of these notes were put into circulation, or even stamped once they had reached Mérida. In fact less than half in value (and just over half in number) were issued. All the $1 and $10 notes were put into circulation but only 72,000 (29%) of the $2, 432,000 (14%) of the $5, 100,400 (20%) of the $20 and 15,000 (15%) of the $100 values. The rest were incinerated in May and June 1919.

  Series from to total
$1 A 000001 5000000 5,000,000 $  5,000,000   includes numbers 2889062CNBanxico #6509 to 4988529CNBanxico #6510
$2 B 000001 715000 715,000 1,430,000   includes numbers 220562CNBanxico #6511 to 419488CNBanxico #6512 
715001 2500000 1,785,000 3,570,000   without seals or contraseñas, incinerated on 7 June 1919Diario Oficial, Yucatán, Año XXII, Núm. 6629, 10 June 1919
$5 C 000001 432,000 2,160,000 O.E.1 includes number 0046007
    M.P.3 includes number 0135110
    O.N.A includes number 0300260CNBanxico #6513 
0432001 3000000 2,568,000 12,840,000   without seals or contraseñas, later destroyedDiario Oficial, Yucatán, Año XXII, Núm. 6609, 17 May 1919. 2,568,000 notes were not stamped: I have assumed that they were dealt with sequentially. 1,002,000 of these notes were incinerated on 10 May 1919 and a further 1,578,510 incinerated on 24 May 1919
$10 D 000001 1500000 1,500,000 15,000,000   includes numbers 1138673 to 1472095CNBanxico #6514   
$20 F 000001 100400   2,008,000   includes number 085878
100401 250400   3,000,000   with seals or contraseñas but not issued and incinerated on 24 May 1919Diario Oficial, Yucatán, Año XXII, Núm. 6621, 31 May 1919. I have assumed that the notes were dealt with sequentially
250401 500000 249,600 4,992,000   without seals or contraseñas, incinerated on 10 May 1919Diario Oficial, Yucatán, Año XXII, Núm. 6609, 1919. $4,992.000 in notes were not stamped: I have assumed that they were dealt with sequentially
$100 G 000001   15,000 1,500,000 L.E. includes number 000127CNBanxico #12405
    T.O. includes number 003800
    R.L.1 includes number 008204CNBanxico #6553
    N.A.N includes number 012104
015001 100000 85,000 8,500,000   never issued. $6,500,000 in notes incinerated on 7 June 1919Diario Oficial, Yucatán, Año XXII, Núm. 6629, 10 June 1919
        12,600,000 $60,000,000    


We have details of the following incinerations of used notes

  Acta 50c $1  $2 $5 $10 $20 $100 total
25 January 1919 3   30,000           30,000 $30,000
8 February 1919 5   30,000           30,000 30,000
8 March 1919 14   40,000           40,000 40,000
29 March 1919 17   50,000           50,000 50,000
12 April 1919 21   40,000           40,000 40,000

Further incinerations were made in November and DecemberDiario Oficial, Año XXIII, No. 6835, 10 February 1920.

The Comisión also incinerated sheets of notes that had not been put into circulation.

  Acta 50c $1  $2 $5 $10 $20 $100 total
10 May 1919         1,002,000   249,600    1,251,600 $10,002,000
24 May 1919Diario Oficial, Año XXII, No. 6621, 31 May 1919         1,578,510   150,000    1,728,510 10,829,550
7 June 1919Diario Oficial, Año XXII, No. 6629, 10 June 1919       1,785,000       65,000  1,850,000 10,070,000