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Local Issues Tell Stories of Mexican History
By Donald Dool

The 13 Mexican local issues that I mentioned were on order in last month’s issue arrived and I bought four of them. They are the basis for this month’s column. The six San Martin medals I ordered also arrived, although I erred in that one is not a San Martin medal. Probably the first time anybody ever purchased something in error.

I have found that as a rule the Mexican local issues are hard to find, crudely struck and, generally, in worn condition. The two specific reference books for these, Fernandez and Grove, seem to be even harder to find than the coins.

Number one or número uno is from Campeche: an un centavo dated 1861. Campeche is the capital city of the Mexican state of Campeche, located in the Yucatán Peninsula. It was founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadores as San Francisco de Campeche atop the pre-existing Maya city of Canpech or Kimpech. Because of its location, it was heavily fortified to ward off attacks by English and Dutch pirates. Many of the old colonial Spanish city walls and fortifications that protected the city remain today. Its architecture earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

The second one is a one-eighth real dated 1856 from Cotija in the state of Michoacan. This small, quiet town of less than 20,00 is best known for its Cotija cheese. Although there are several versions of its foundation, the one generally accepted is that it was founded between 1575 and 1576 by Melchor Manzo de Corona.

Next is another one-eighth real, this one dated 1859 from Progreso in the state of Yucatán. This port city, like Campeche, is in the Yucatán Peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico.

Fourth and last is a quarter real dated 1814 from the city of Sayuna, Jalisco. The Internet failed to provide any historical information about Sayuna.

Since I failed to win any lots in the latest WAG auction, my readers will be subjected to my latest San Martin additions in next month’s column.

Works Cited:

Campeche. 29 Sept. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campeche,_Campeche
Cotija. 29 Sept. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotija,_Michoac%C3%A1n
Fernandez Graza, Mauricio. Las Monedas Municipales Mexicanas n.p., n.p., [c. 1970].
Grove, Frank W. Tokens of Mexico. n.p., n.p., 1989.
Progreso. 29 Sept. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progreso,_Yucat%C3%A1n
Krause, Chester L., and Mishler, Clifford. Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900. Ed. Colin R. Bruce II. 3rd. ed. Iola, WI: Krause, 2001.
Rulau, Russell. Latin American Tokens. 2nd. ed. Iola, WI: Krause, 2000.

Contact Dool with questions, corrections and comments at dool@comcast.net.


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