Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Silvestre Terrazas Papers circa 1883-1944
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Abstract, Part I
  • Abstract, Part II

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Silvestre Terrazas papers
    Date (inclusive): circa 1883-1944
    Collection Number: BANC MSS M-B 18
    Creator: Terrazas, Silvestre, 1873-1944
    Physical Description: Number of containers: Part I: 120 boxes, and 4 oversize folders Part II: 10 boxes 18 digital objects (18 images)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    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
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research. However, the original manuscripts in Part II are fragile. Use microfilm only.

    Publication Rights

    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 reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Silvestre Terrazas Papers, BANC MSS M-B 18, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital reproductions of selected items are available.


    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 and 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 Chihuahua.
    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 El Correo, "¡¡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 La Patria 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 of 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.

    Abstract, 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, La Lira Chihuahuense, 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. Menéndez, Diario de Yucatán (Mérida, Yuc.); Adrián Guerrero Díaz, El Observador (Pachuca, Hgo.); Felipe Xóchihua, El Guerrillero (Tlaxcala, Tlax.); Juan Malpica Silva, El Dictamen (Veracruz, Ver.); and Jesús Alvarez del Castillo, El Informador (Guadalajara, Jal.).
    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.