Information for Researchers
Abstact, Part I
Abstract, Part II
Collection Title: Silvestre Terrazas Papers,
Date (inclusive): [ca. 1883-1944]
Collection Number: BANC MSS M-B 18
Creator: Terrazas, Silvestre, 1873-1944
Number of containers:
Part I: 120 boxes, and 4 oversize folders
Part II: 10 boxes
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please
consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Contains not only excellent files of his own newspapers, but a mass of letters
and documents concerning his most active years, especially beginning with the 1910 election. Among his
correspondents were such men as Miguel and Vito Alessio Robles, Venustiano Carranza, Felipe Angeles,
Governor Fidel Avila of Chihuahua, the Banco Nacional de Mexico, Plutarco Elias Calles, Enrique C.
Creel, Ignacio C. Enriquez, Adolfo de la Huerta, Ricardo Flores Magon, and literally hundreds of others,
many of national stature.
Pt. I: correspondence; drafts and copies of newspaper articles, columns
and editorials; accounts; clippings; pictures; and personalia. Mainly concerning his newspaper career as
editor of El Correo de Chihuahua, Mexico, and La Patria, El Paso, Texas; his role in the Mexican
revolutionary movement; and political positions held in Pancho Villa's government. Pt. II: papers of the
Banco Minero de Chihuahua, 1882-1915. MICROFILM USE ONLY. MSS. VERY FRAGILE.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in Spanish
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research. However, the original manuscripts in Part II are fragile. Use
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for
publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not
intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the
[Identification of item], Silvestre Terrazas papers, BANC MSS M-B 18, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Abstact, Part I
The correspondence files, newspaper collection, and library of Silvestre Terrazas were purchased from the
Terrazas family, through Miss Margarita Terrazas of El Paso, Texas, acting for her brothers and sisters.
The newspaper collection and the library are not covered in the appended report, as they have been
treated as special units within the newspaper and rare book collections of The Bancroft Library. Among
the newspapers are fairly complete files of
La Revista Católica,
El Correo de Chihuahua, and
La Patria, as
well as files of many other newspapers in Mexico and Texas. The library contains books and pamphlets
primarily related to Mexican politics and the history of Chihuahua.
The manuscript portion of the collection is of great interest for the period 1910-1915, particularly in
regard to the effects of the revolutions on Chihuahua. There is correspondence from the outstanding
politicians and revolutionaries — Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Francisco I. Madero, Porfirio
Díaz, Venustiano Carranza, Emiliano Zapata, Enrique C. Creel, Ricardo Flores
Magón, and many others. During the 1920s and 1930s, Terrazas corresponded with Mexico's
political leaders, among whom were Adolfo de la Huerta, Avila Camacho, Alvaro Obregón,
Lázaro Cárdenas, Plutarco Elías Calles, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, Abelardo
L. Rodríguez, and Emilio Portes Gil.
There is a large amount of correspondence with Mexican journalists, most of whom were members of the
Prensa Asociada de los Estados. As one of the founders and a frequent officer in this association,
Terrazas corresponded regularly with newspaper editors and publishers throughout Mexico concerning the
business of the association and the problems of journalists as well as the political situation in the
country. Among the correspondents who are represented in this collection are Carlos R.
Diario de Yucatán (Mérida, Yuc.);
Adrián Guerrero Díaz,
El Observador (Pachuca, Hgo.); Felipe
El Guerrillero (Tlaxcala, Tlax.); Juan Malpica Silva,
(Veracruz, Ver.); and Jesús Alvarez del Castillo,
Terrazas also maintained files of correspondence with his advertisers and subscribers. This material
forms a substantial portion of his correspondence during the 1920s and early 1930s. There are extensive
files for some of the advertisers and advertising agencies, while the files for subscribers consist
mainly of one or two letters from the individual, with handwritten notations by members of Terrazas'
staff to indicate compliance with the request.
Abstract, Part II
The Banco Minero de Chihuahua was a prominent banking firm in Chihuahua during the period covered by this
collection, 1882-1915. It was directed by Enrique Clay Creel, except for periods when he held public
offices. He was Governor of Chihuahua at various times from 1903-1911 and Secretaría de
Relaciones Exteriores under Porfirio Díaz in 1911. During those periods his younger brother,
Juan Andrew Creel, was Director of the Banco Minero.
These papers which are in The Bancroft Library and here associated with the Silvestre Terrazas Papers are
primarily business records of the bank. There is correspondence between the Creel brothers; letters and
letterpress copies of letters written to various firms and individuals by the Creels, Matías
Celada, and Martín Falomir; letters received by the Creels and Banco Minero; letterpress
copies of letters written by Federico Sisniega for the Banco Nacional de México; and legal
documents and contracts for the sale of lands and mines in Chihuahua and Coahuila, in which the Banco
Minero acted as agent.
Silvestre Terrazas was born in Chihuahua on December 31, 1873. During the 1870s and 1880s, Mexico was
largely controlled by the military clique and the great landowners, and Don Silvestre, as a member of
one of the most distinguished families in Chihuahua, was well educated both at home and in Mexico City.
In 1896 he began his long newspaper career with the publication of
La Revista Católica
La Lira Chihuahuense, both of which were sponsored by the Bishop of
Chihuahua. Three years later he founded the short-lived
El Correo de Chihuahua, and in
1902, reorganizing his assets, he combined all three papers into the successful
El Correo de
In 1907, opposing the candidacy of Enrique C. Creel for the Governorship of Chihuahua, Terrazas argued in
his treatise "La Cuestion Palpitante — Mexico por Nacimiento" that Creel, whose father was an
American, was not legally qualified to seek office. In that same year, Terrazas launched a campaign
against injustice in the case of the "Robo al Banco Minero," protesting the methods of arrest and
questioning of suspects by the Chief of Police of Chihuahua. Terrazas' editorial in
"¡¡Pedimos Garantías!!" resulted in a lawsuit, brought against
him by the Chief of Police, and led to Terrazas' imprisonment.
With the election of 1910, in which the opponents were Francisco I. Madero and Porfirio Díaz,
Terrazas began his long and stormy political career. His newspaper supported the liberal candidate, and
as President of the Prensa Asociada de los Estados, an organization of Mexican journalists, he sought to
free from prison many of his associates who had been jailed for revolutionary activities. On November
22, 1910, Terrazas was himself accused of plotting against the government and was sent to prison for the
second time. On February 10, 1911, he was released.
Terrazas continued his publication of
El Correo de Chihuahua, but in March 1913,
threatened by imprisonment for his attacks against the regime of Victoriano Huerta, he crossed to El
Paso, Texas, and from there supported the revolution led by Francisco "Pancho" Villa and Venustiano
Carranza. After Villa had assumed power in Chihuahua with the defeat of Huerta's forces in December
1913, Terrazas returned to his home and was appointed Secretary of the Government of the State. In June
1914, he was also appointed General Administrator of Confiscated Property of Chihuahua, but with the
defeat of Villa by Carranza in December 1915, Terrazas again went into exile, this time to Las Cruces,
New Mexico. In the following year Terrazas moved to El Paso, where he began publication of
on January 1, 1919, and where he remained until 1925.
As the political situation stabilized itself throughout Mexico in the early 1920s, Terrazas often crossed
the border to participate in the annual "Congresos" of the Prensa Asociada de los Estados. In 1925 he
returned to Chihuahua and re-opened the offices of
El Correo de Chihuahua, and in the
following year his articles on the "Cristero" movement led to his third imprisonment. During the 1930s,
as Director of the Central de Noticias "Mexico," Terrazas dispatched news to journals throughout the
country and wrote editorials and columns which were syndicated widely. On September 9, 1935, the presses
El Correo de Chihuahua were chained for the last time — the
Comisión Monetaria S.A. en Liquidación claimed that Terrazas had failed to pay a
debt — and Terrazas went into semi-retirement. At the time of his death in Chihuahua on June
1, 1944, he was President of the Sociedad de Estudios Históricos de Chihuahua and Treasurer
of the Prensa Asociada de los Estados.