The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 37, September 11, 2022, Article 3


Paper Money of Louisiana book cover Documentary History of Spanish Paper Money in Louisiana (18th Century)

Author: Ángel O. Navarro Zayas
Publisher : Independently published (August 29, 2022)
Language : Spanish
Paperback : 173 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8848868197
Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.41 x 11 inches

Len Augsburger writes:

"Ángel O. Navarro Zayas has mined archival sources in order to provide a complete picture of the efforts related to the introduction of paper money in Spanish Louisiana. This thoroughly researched volume represents a valuable addition to existing studies on early American paper money."

While the Newman Numismatic Portal is a marvelous resource for numismatic researchers, one mustn't stop there when the goal is to uncover previously unknown information. Ángel's discovery and review of primary documents has shed new light on this important area of early paper money in what is now the United States of America.

Most of the book is in Spanish but it has lengthy translations of some of the primary documents that were transcribed from the General Archive of the Indies. -Editor

  Nuevo libro map Nuevo libro document

Here is a note from the President of the Numismatic Society of Puerto Rico, Dra. Dámaris Mercado-Martínez -Editor

We have the opportunity, due to the honorable invitation of Dr. Ángel O. Navarro Zayas, a numismatic friend, researcher and academic from Ponce, recognized by the Numismatic Society of Puerto Rico and by other numismatic entities, to capture some notes on his new book. In In this presentation we want to highlight, first of all, the notable effort of the author to work on some transcriptions of primary sources from the General Archive of the Indies, regarding the paper money issued in Spanish Louisiana at the end of the 18th century.These documents are a great numismatic discovery of Dr. Navarro that pay Spanish monetary history in its extensive territory in North America, collected by him under the title : "Documentary History of Spanish Paper Money in Louisiana (18th Century)".

In this work we will find informative and explanatory notes documented by the transcriptions and by the illustrated reproductions at first hand, of the Spanish royal vouchers and paper money issued as a consequence of a great inflation in the territory of Louisiana, in the relationship between the future of some historical processes of this territory and the appearance of some monetary instruments little tested at that time. The work consists of a few words by the author in which he briefly describes the type of study carried out by him and we quote him: ¨The documents presented here are faithful and exact transcriptions of the documents found in the Archivo General de Indias referring to said subject…. the translation of two somewhat inaccurate files of the documents into English so that Anglo-Saxon speakers can make use of the documents ¨ Next we find a succinct and important introduction, historical and numismatic, made by the Spanish numismatist friend, Dr. Pedro Damian Cano.

The presentation of the documentary transcripts and the reproductions, are shown from the year 1782, with descriptions of " the bills of eight reals of silver established in the Province of Louisiana to subsidize the payments for services".. Later, we will find the different real vouchers of the denominations of 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 pesos, from the years 1793 and 1795, ´to run and circulate in it (Louisiana) as the usual and effective currency . Likewise, the transcripts mention the printed bills of different values, ¨ due to the lack of Located ¨ since 1789.

We found the tests of the Vales Reales of two and eight curious. But very interesting are the transcripts of the files of 1795 and 1796 on the petition-plea to the king for the creation of one million pesos in royal vouchers of various kinds for the relief of the Province of Louisiana, for the fatal accident of a raging fire, which suffered the Capital (New Orleans), on December 8, 1794. Louisiana was the bulwark against the most fearsome nation in the New World, but it was in danger for other different reasons: there was depopulation in the extensive territory, they did not have mines of the precious metals gold and silver, it had little money, its annual position was short, its commercial traffic was almost all with strangers, and it became the most unpunished place for any monetary operation...

  Navarro paper money sheet

The research was sponsored in part by a 2020 Newman Grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

For more information, or to order, see:
Documentary History of Spanish Paper Money in Louisiana (18th Century) (Spanish Edition) Paperback – August 29, 2022 (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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