Paper Money of Sonora

.. by Simon Prendergast

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Home Acknowledgements and sources


Many people have helped me over the course of my research but I have particularly to mention Elmer Powell, Dick Long, Ken Tabachnik, Duane Douglas, Rick Ponterio, Dave Cox, Cory Frampton and Ana Isabel Grijalva Díaz.

The sections on counterfeits owe a lot to the research of Robert Perigoe whilst the sections on movie money are based on Fred Reed's catalogue, Show Me the Money!

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 Sonora' and 'mi averiguación es particular', never failed to go out of their way to be helpful.

On my last visit to Mexico I was particularly grateful to the staff in the state archive of Sonora and in the Hemeroteca Nacional, the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México and the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City.

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 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, as happened with Maytorena and Calles.

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:

ABarragán Archivo Juan Barragán Rodríguez
ABCS Archivo Histórico "Pablo L. Martínez", Baja California del Sur
ABNC American Bank Note Company archives
ACOAH Archivo General del Estado de Coahuila
ADU Archivo de Durango
AER Archivo Eduardo Robinson, Colección Mascareñias and Colección Camou, Nogales
AGN Archivo General de la Nación, México, D. F.
AGHES Archivo General Histórico del Estado de Sonora
AHMM Archivo Histórico Municipal de Morelia
AHMRUS Archivo Histórico del Museo de Historia Regional de Universidad de Sonora
AIF Documentos Históricos de la Revolutión Mexicana (Archivo Isidro Fabela)
AMLC Archivo del H. Municipio de la Colorada, Sonora
AMP Archivo Histórico Municipal de Parral, Chihuahua
AMS Archivo Municipal de Saltillo, Coahuila
AMZ Archivo Municipal de Zacatecas
APGG Archivo Pablo González Garza
ASIN Archivo General del Estado de Sinaloa
ASLP Archive de San Luis Potosí
CCCC papers Cananea Consolidated Copper Company papers (MS 1032) at Arizona Historical Society/Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
CONDUMEX Centro de Estudios de Historía de México, Mexico, D. F.
JMM papers Jose Maria Maytorena papers. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium
MM papers Manuel Mascareñas papers, Special Collections, University of Arizona, Tucson
SD papers U.S. Department of State Papers, National Archives, Washington, D. C.