Paper Money of Chihuahua

.. by Simon Prendergast

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Home Acknowledgements and sources
Acknowledgements and sources


Many people have helped me over the course of my research, especially Elmer Powell, but I also have to mention Ken Tabachnik, Duane Douglas, Clyde Hubbard, Rick Ponterio and Cory Frampton.

Much of this information was acquired from archives in Mexico and the United States. I have to acknowledge the patience and helpfulness of people in Mexican archives who, when confronted with someone who can speed-read old documents in Spanish but has difficulty in putting together a coherent sentence, even when the subject matter is limited to 'soy estudiante de la papel moneda de Chihuahua' and 'mi averiguación es particular', never failed to go out of their way to be helpful.

On my visit to Mexico in 2008 I was particularly grateful to Profesor Ruben Beltran Acosta and his assistant in the Archivo Histórico Municipal of Chihuahua, and the staff in the state archives of Sonora and Querétaro and in the Hemeroteca Nacional, the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México and the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City.

I returned to Mexico in 2010 and need to add Profesor José Alfredo Sánchez Mendoza and his staff at the Biblioteca 'Mauricio Magadeleno' in Zacatecas, the staff in the state archives of San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Durango and Colima, and the staff at the Archivo Histórico Municipal de Parral. Parral's archive survived pretty much intact whilst those in the rest of the state of Chihuahua have largely been lost, so it is an invaluable source of information.

I particularly wanted to track down the Memorias de las Instituciones de Crédito published between 1897 and 1912. José Ramón San Cristóbal Larra and his staff at the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada arranged to open the Capilla Rosa in the Palacio Federal, which was closed for renovation, so that I could consult these volumes in magnificent solitude. It would not happen in England.

Special mention also needs to be made of the Benson Latin American Collection in the University of Texas at Austin, which houses the invaluable Lázaro de la Garza papers; the José María Maytorena papers at Claremont College, and the Silvestre Terrazas papers in the Bancroft Library, Berkeley.

Susanne Campbell and the staff at the West Texas Collection at Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas provided images of postcards to illustrate the Advertisements section. Ramón Lerna Alvidrez gave me the photos of the Banco Mexicano and the Parral and Durango Railroad.

I have made as much use as I can of primary sources but the results are necessarily patchy, among other reasons because it seems that when revolutionaries were not busy printing or restamping money they were busy sacking archives. Often only documentation from the victorious side survives.

Periódicos Oficiales

Each state had its own Periódico Oficial, the official bulletin for the text of important local and national decrees, statutory notices, judgements and, occasionally, an eclectic range of local and international news, historical episodes, informative articles and homilies. They tried to maintain continuity so whenever a rival faction took over it would publish its own version, but with the obvious disruptions and the lack of newsprint there are unfortunately gaps. In addition different factions sometimes produced competing versions.

States were meant to send a copy to the Bibliotheca Nacional in Mexico City but, apart from the states neighbouring the capital, this stopped between the removal of Huertista governors and the re-establishment of some kind of order under the Carrancistas.

In the footnotes where a reference is given as Periódico Oficial this means the official bulletin of the particular state in question (the provenance should be obvious from the text) unless specifically stated otherwise.


At times Mexico had a vibrant press but during the revolution partiality, official or self-imposed censorship, and (in some areas) lack of paper, meant that, with the exception of Mexico City, newspapers were rare, and one had more chance of learning of the fortunes of the Allies on the Western Front than of any fighting nearer to home.


The abbreviations used for archives in the footnotes are:

AAC Archivo del Ayuntamiento de Chihuahua
AAG Archivo de Aguascalientes
AAM Archivo Ayuntamiento de México
ABarragán Archivo Juan Barragán Rodríguez
ABCS Archivo Histórico “Pablo L. Martínez”, La Paz, Baja California Sur
ABNC American Bank Note Company
ACCCC Documents of the Cananea Mining Company, Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Arizona
ACOAH Archivo General del Estado de Coahuila
ADUR Archivo de Durango
AER Archivo Eduardo Robinson, Colección Mascareñias and Colección Camou, Nogales
AGN Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico, D. F.
AG Archivo de Guanajuato
AGHES Archivo General Histórico del Estado de Sonora
AHMRUS Archivo Histórico del Museo de Historia Regional de Universidad de Sonora
AHSRE Archivo Histórico de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores
AIF Documentos Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana (Archivo Isidro Fabela)
AJ Archivo de Jalisco
Almada Almada collection
AMC Archivo Municipal de Chihuahua
AMDF Archivo Municipal del Distrito Federal
AMG Archivo Municipal de Guadalajara
AMICH Archivo de Morelia, Michoacán
AMLC Archivo del H. Municipio de la Colorada, Sonora
AMM Archivo Municipal de Monterrey
AMonclova Archivo Municipal de Monclova
AMP Archivo Histórico Municipal de Parral
AMS Archivo Municipal de Saltillo
AMT Archivo Municipal de Toluca
AMZ Archivo Municipal de Zacatecas
ANL Archivo General del Estado de Nuevo León
AP papers Alberto Pradeau papers
APGG Archivo Pablo González Garza
AQ Archivo de Queretaro
ASCJ Archivo de Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación
ASDN Archivo de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional
ASIN Archivo General del Estado de Sinaloa
ASLP Archive de San Luis Potosí
ASTJC Archivo del Supremo Tribunal de Justicia de Chihuahua
AT Archivo de Tlaxcala
CIDECH Centro de Investigaciones y Documentación del Estado de Chihuahua
CONDUMEX Centro de Estudios de Historía de México, Mexico, D. F.
LG Papers Lázaro de la Garza Archive, Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
SD Papers U.S. Department of State Papers, National Archives, Washington, D. C.
ST Papers Silvestre Terrazas Papers, in Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California