El Grito de Dolores: 10 Pesos (Mexico, 1977)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

This Mexican banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Series AA (sub-Series 1BV). These notes were printed by the Bank of Mexico and circulated from 1969 to 1993. After which they were replaced by the Second Peso (Series B), also known as the Nuevo Peso (New Peso). This banknote depicts numerous references to Mexico's indigenous and Spanish Catholic culture.

The observe features a portrait Spanish priest, scholar, and independence leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811). The famous "Grito de Dolores" (Cry of Dolores) can be seen on his left. The bells supports are cherubs inspired by Nahua (Aztec) art. A stylized Nahua eagle can be seen on the lower center. Forming the primary half of a light puzzle/registration element.


The note's value is restated 3 times, the “10” on the lower left is backed by guilloché engraving. While the “10” on the upper right emulates a Nahua-style. The final “10” on the upper left is backed a small section of micro-text. The repeating text reads “DIEZ * B de M”, in sequence. Interestingly the bottom row features a single instance of “DIEZ”, printed upside down.


The Spanish text is simple and easily understood. The header reads “EL BANCO DE MEXICO S.A” (Bank of Mexico) and “DIEZ PESOS” (10 Peso). Immediately below is the text “A LA VISTA AL PORTADOR” (IN SIGHT TO THE BEARER). An indication to the bearer, to which side is the observe. This followed by the signatures of the banking officials and the issue date. This particular note was issued. 18 Feb 1977.

The reverse features an illustration Dolores Hidalgo parish, Miguel Hidalgo's church. From which he began gave the Cry of Dolores sermon, beginning the Mexican Independence movement. The majority of the reverse is covered guilloché and other forms of intricate engraving. Including a stylized Nahua eagle head, forming the second half of a light puzzle/registration element.


The note's value repeated 3 times, once in the center left, “DIEZ PESOS”. Diagonally on the lower left expressed as “10 DIEZ”, and finally on the upper right. The Seal of the Bank of Mexico can be seen on the left. There is Bank of Mexico security stamp of the upper left. Ultraviolet light analysis shows this stamp to be UV sensitive. As is the majority of the adjoining engravings, including the eagle head. The observe is shown to be inert.


Father of The Revolution

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was born to a wealthy criollo (mostly Spanish descent) family. As the second-born son of Don (Lord) Cristóbal Hidalgo y Costilla. He began his Jesuit education at age 15, he studied at the Colegio de San Francisco (San Francisco Collage). He joined the Colegio de San Nicolás, after the 1867 expulsion of the Jesuits from Mexico. While enrolled in San Nicolás, he decided to pursue the priesthood.


In 1770, he received a degree in philosophy and theology from the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, in Mexico City. In addition to Latin, Miguel Hidalgo was proficient in Nahuatl (Aztec), Otomi, and Purépecha. His reputation for cleverness earned him the nickname “El Zorro” (the Fox). In 1778, Hidalgo was ordained as a priest. He became a professor of Latin and theology at the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo.


In 1803, Hidalgo arrived at the small town of Dolores. Initially he pursued studies to benefit the town and perusing humanitarian activities. This included establishing grape cultivation, beekeeping, silk worms farms, and creating a brick/pottery factories. He educated the local indigenous and mestizo (people of mixed indigenous/Spanish ancestry) in marketable trades, such as leather making.


Hidalgo became first disillusioned with the Spanish administration, after a drought/famine in 1807-1808. Spanish merchants refused to provide aid, instead speculating on higher prices. Fearing an arrest by the Spanish administration. Hildago participated in a prison break, on the night of 15 September 1810. The armed raid lead to 80 prisoners released. The following morning 300 people gathered at Dolores (Hidalgo) parish. Were Hildago gave his famous Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores). Calling the people of his parish to join with him, in a rebellion against the current government. The church bell was rung, as a call to arms.

While no written copies of the speech exist, a number of historical reconstructions exist. Below is a reconstruction by historian Michael Meyer:

...the essential spirit of the message is... 'My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once... Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the Gachupines!

Hidalgo left Dolores with roughly 800 men, half on horseback. While having no military training, he was aided by Ignacio Allende (1769-1811). Who served as a captain in the Mexican Army, he was part of a larger conspiracy. Allende gave the revolution legitimacy, as he gained the support of his cavalry regiment. By 21 September 1810, the Hidalgo's army reached 5,000. The army carried a banner with the Virgin of Guadalupe.


After a series of successful raids, the Hidalgo Army was intercepted by royalist forces, lead by Spanish General Torcuato Trujillo. The royalist were forced to retreat, after causing heavy casualties. On 30 October 1810, the Hidalgo Army reached Mexico City with a force of 100,000. The Hidalgo army retreated from Mexico, which was guarded by the loyalist army's best troops. The Hidalgo Army shrunk to 40,000, when reaching the town of Aculco.


On 7 November 1810, the Hildago Army was defeated by General Felix Calleja. The army arrived in the town of Guadalajara on 26 November 1810, with 7,000 poorly soldiers. The army regaining it's strength, through recruitment. Hildago was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, by the Bishop Manuel Abad y Queipo, on 24 December 1810.


On January 1811, royalist forces marched to Guadalajara, with a force of 6,000. The Hidalgo Army was defeated despite having a superior size force of between 80,000-100,000 and 95 cannons. Hildago was captured in Saltillo, were he rejected a public pardon, in exchange for a formal surrender. On 27 July 1811, Hildago was officially excommunicated by the bishop of Durango, Francisco Gabriel de Olivares.


One popular story states he was executed by firing squad, after thanking his 2 jailers. Two soldiers named Ortega and Melchor. His final words are said to be, “Though I may die, I shall be remembered forever; you all will soon be forgotten."


The Cradle of National Independence

Ultraviolet Elements

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 157 x 67 mm (6.18 x 2.64 in), standard for Series AA banknotes.

  • This note was replace by the Second Peso Series B, which uses a slightly smaller 155 x 66 mm (6.10 x 2.60 in) format.

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