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Manuel Merino y Moreno, Intendent, forbids the circulation of the coins issued by the insurgents and others that are not from the Mexico City Mint, Valladolid, 23 December 1811

[Spanish text needed]

Manuel Merino y Moreno, Councilman and Intendent by H. M. of this town and its Province.
By Order of the Legitimate authorities established in the city of Zacatecas and capital of the Province of the same name, coins of 8 Reales and minor denominations [doble = 8 Reales, menuda = minor denominations from 2 Reales to ½ Real] were minted to cover the needs [the functioning costs] of the Royal and Public Service starting on February of this present year when the insurgent troops were expelled by the ones of H. M. our King.
I ignore whether this coinage is still being issued in that city but it is (well) known in it, its province, and the surrounding ones of Nueva Galicia and Nueva Viscaya. It is my understanding that it not only has circulated in those locales, and still does so under the name of Moneda Provisional de Zacatecas, but has also been used in the district formed by those three [provinces] to pay the Royal troops alongside with coins from the Mexico City Mint. The same is being done with the troops of the Ejercito del Centro, since the mentioned provisional coinage of Zacatecas has a weight, fineness and value similar to that which is minted in the capital of the Reyno [the aforementioned Mexico City Mint].
Although I had already been informed of this matter from private communications given to me before my arrival here at the beginning of June of the current year, such was confirmed beyond any doubt by a paragraph in the proclamation issued in Zacatecas on May 3 by the General of the aforementioned Ejercito del Centro don Felix Calleja and published in the Gaceta del Gobierno de Mexico on the 14th of that same month, which reads as follows:
“In order not to hinder the payments and trades in the commerce, I hereby declare as current and legal tender the provisional coinage which was minted in that city [of Zacatecas] under that (provisional) designation by disposition of the legitimate authorities that governed it due to the lack of circulating media and the fact that said coinage has a greater intrinsic value than the one with the bust of the King [meaning the one minted at the Mexico City Mint], meaning that its recalling will be easy at any time after the situation has calmed down and the corresponding dispositions on this matter are taken. All of this has been informed to the most excellent Viceroy of these Kingdoms. However, this authorization must be understood as concerning only the mentioned provisional coinage, and not the one issued by the insurgents since all of that coinage [of the insurgents] - which is well known - will have to be recalled in accordance with the article 13 of the Proclamation dated March 20 and deposited in these Reales Cajas with notice of the amounts that are being handed over and their owners so that in time, they are given the corresponding superior resolution. And in order for everyone to become aware of these dispositions, I order that it is proclaimed and published in this Capital, and in all of the locales of the district of its Intendancy, for its exact observance.”
The article 13 of the referred decree mentioned in the previous paragraph and included in the cited Gaceta del Gobierno, is as follows:
“All persons which possess coins of any denomination of those minted by the insurgents in Zacatecas or in another locale of the Kingdom, will present them immediately either to the corresponding authorities or the Reales Cajas in the district of the locale where said coins are in circulation. Those who fail to obey shall face the sentence given to counterfeiters.”
In consequence, and considering that some of the coinage provisionally minted in Zacatecas has been introduced here since the arrival at Acambaro of the aforementioned Ejercito [army] and it is being rejected in the local trade and payments because it is believed that its weight and fineness are inferior to those of the coinage from the Mexico Mint or because it is doubted whether it will be accepted in payments to the Royal Exchequer or because there is no [official] proclamation authorizing it,
In order to prevent the damages that would occur from preventing its circulation, and those which would be faced by the troops and those individuals who received payments in said coinage in the locales where its circulation had been authorized,
I order that it is accepted as legal tender in this Province until an ordinance is given by the Superior Government on this matter in the same form and terms as the paragraph from the decree that has been inserted in the present proclamation. (On the other hand), it is warned to everyone that the circulation of the coinage minted in that same locale [of Zacatecas] by the insurgents - which is well known and can be distinguished by the fact that it bears a kind of nopal or branch instead of lions in the Royal Coat of Arms – is hereby prohibited.
And in order for this disposition to be known to everyone, I order it to be proclaimed and published by Edict and that it is fixed in the customary places of this city.
Given in Valladolid on December 23, 1811
Manuel Merino. By mandate of His Honour.

Merino wrote to the Viceroy explaining his actions [Spenish text needed].

Most Excellent Sire Viceroy D. Francisco Javier Venegas.
Most Excellent Sir:
After some coins of the provisional type that was minted in Zacatecas were introduced in this locale, and considering that no disposition had been given regarding its acceptance and circulation, I was forced to authorize its circulation by the proclamation of which I am enclosing a copy for your superior consideration in order to receive the approval of my providence, or any decision that you consider pertinent on the matter.
To [reach the decision to] authorize the mentioned coinage, I have taken into consideration that this coinage had been introduced by the troops that guarded the effects belonging to the Ejército Real del Centro, sent here by its General Don Felix Calleja when deemed unnecessary for the expedition to Zitacuaro, and also the effects from this locale that belonged to His Majesty and to particulars or the mentioned troops, and that the mule drivers would directly benefit from its circulation and acceptance since the man charged with the payment of these mule drivers had some of this coinage in his possession to make said payment, and that said coinage was not being accepted in circulation at face value but only with a penalty of 1/4th or more, which I considered to be unjust.

In the city of Valladolid, on June 16 1812:
At the Provincial Council of Exchequer, in presence of Messrs. Manuel Merino and Moreno, Mayor [Governor] of this Province, Agustin Lopete, Lieutenant Attorney and temporary counselor of this Intendancy, Antonio Medina Principal Minister Treasurer of Exchequer – representing both himself and his absent companion, and Licensee Pedro Jose Navarro Public Prosecutor,
Having read the proclamation published by said Governor in this Capital on October 23, 1811 which forbade the circulation of the provisional coinage that was minted by the most Excellent Government in the city of Zacatecas and the communication with which said Intendent notified the mentioned proclamation to the Most Excellent Viceroy of this Province on the 23 of the same month,
Wishing to conveniently resolve this matter,
And considering that a greater amount of the aforementioned coinage than the amount minted, duly authorized and allowed into circulation by our most Excellent Government in the mentioned (city of) Zacatecas,
Either by means of the troop regiments that venture outside the city to the towns controlled by the insurgents to pursue and punish these insurgents, or of the peasants that accompany them in order to sell a few commercial items in those towns such as cigarettes and cigars that they buy in the local market or kiosks or because the same insurgents have minted and cast in different locales coins in imitation and counterfeits of the mentioned provisional coinage of Zacatecas from which they are very difficult to distinguish, or through other means,
Said Mr. Intendent has manifested that considering all these antecedents and having received verbal communications informing that many tenants of the local clothing and food stores and other individuals were refusing to receive the mentioned coins for their full face value of 1 Peso, not distinguishing between the ones [legally] minted in Zacatecas and those that have been counterfeited by the insurgents, he considered it necessary to either allow the circulation of all of these coins or to forbade the circulation of any coins that have not been minted in the Royal Mint of Mexico.
Having profoundly considered the above matter, and after hearing at my request the thoughts from all the representatives which aimed for the rightness and for the benefit of the Royal Service and the Public Cause, it has been agreed:
Firstly, that it is convenient, urgent and necessary to absolutely forbid the use, acceptance and circulation of any kind and type of coinage that is not the one minted at the Royal Mint of Mexico, due to the difficulty to distinguish and differentiate the one that was [legitimately] provisionally minted [by Royalist authorities] in Zacatecas from the one that has been cast and also struck in imitation by the insurgents in different locales, because the differentiating points of these various coins [from the legitimate ones] lie in its size [diameter], thickness and darkish [similar to lead] color of its silver, proving that these [counterfeit or illegitimate] coins do not possess the corresponding and correct fineness nor weight, and that both these coins and the ones struck by our Government are subject to having their weight reduced by clipping them, as has been seen in several of them, since they do not have an edge design.
Secondly, that in order to recall the existing [in circulation] coinage of this type [the provisional Zacatecas type], a proclamation should be issued informing of this forbiddance [to circulate] and giving a time limit of 8 days during which every man having said coinage in his possession will be able to present it to the Royal Cajas to weigh it and exchange it for coins minted at the Royal Mexico Mint at the rate of 5 pesos per mark while the authorities allow it, after which any one passing this coinage into circulation or having it in their possession (because they did not present it for its exchange) will be punished by the sentences established by law.
Thirdly, that a detailed and separate account of the quantities of the recalled coins will be made upon their reception with indication of the corresponding weight [of the coins] and individuals who present them.
Fourthly, that the coinage brought from the city of Pascuaro, and handed over by Mr. Ignacio Solorzano due to the scarcity of funds for the payment of the troops shall be accounted for, and that in the event of some of this coinage [brought from Pascuaro] having not been released into circulation yet, those coins that are of the type mentioned in this ordinance [meaning the provisional coinage of Zacatecas issued by royalists or insurgents, or the outright counterfeit coinage imitating the Zacatecas coins issued (presumably) by the insurgents] shall be retained and exchanged to its owner [Solorzano] at the rate of 5 pesos per mark, as has been indicated previously.
Fifthly, that a detailed receipt shall be issued to those individuals who remit the forbidden coinage in order to account them for should this be made necessary by any [subsequent] provision that the Most Excellent Sire Viceroy of N. E. [Nueva Espana = New Spain = Mexico] might instruct, to whom this whole expedient shall be sent immediately.
And finally, that the mentioned Mr. Intendent Mayor shall communicate the present determination by a proclamation to the Royal Offices of this city for the corresponding purposes.
And the above was accorded and signed before me, to which I testify.
Manuel Merino.
D. Agustin Lopete.
Don Antonio Medina.
Lic. Pedro Jose Navarro.
Jose Maria Aguilar.