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Published: Thursday 08 August, 2013

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Dont Miss:Alameda Point explainedEulogy for a great barJocks game workers comp systemChildrens books remain whiteNew Hunters Point neighborhood19990505 04:00:00 PDT San Francisco The infamous Pancho Villa built his revolutionary army with cash secured in a secret deal brokered by Wells Fargo Express, according to 86yearold documents made public yesterday.

Letters and memos obtained by the University of Californias help answer one of historys mysteries how did Villa manage to convert silver bars obtained in a train robbery into the cash needed to pay for arms and men?

This is a real find, said Bancroft curator , who presented the documents at a press conference. Its a real smoking gun.

Wells Fargo seemed unimpressed.

It seems like hes making much ado about nothing, said , historian at the in San Francisco, who had not been aware of the companys link to the Villa money.

We were a neutral intermediary between the guy who owned the bars and the guy who had the bars, he said after looking at the fieldoffice documents, which the Bancroft obtained from a private dealer.

It has long been known that Villa, a former bandit, returned to Mexico from exile in the United States in 1912 with a tiny band of men that he quickly built into the dreaded Di longchamp large travel bag vision del Norte army that propelled him to power amid Mexicos continuing series of revolutions at that time.

His big break came on April 9, 1913, when he stole 122 silver bars from a train in Northern Mexico, a haul then worth about $160,000, equivalent to about $2.6 million today. arms into Mexico.

That is where Wells Fargo stepped in. The owners of the silver mining firms with mines in Mexico were willing to pay Villa to get the silver back, but they were not able to establish contact with h longchamp large travel bag im.

So Wells Fargo and its Mexican subsidiary, which handled the shipment, arranged a strictly confidential deal, in the words of one memo. Wells Fargo agents arranged a meeting with Villa, and a Wells Fargo employee was held hostage by Villa while the mining firms came up with the money to buy back the bars, according to the letters and memos exchanged among Wells Fargo employees in Los Angeles, El Paso and Mexico.

Villa received either $50,000 or 50,000 pesos then worth $25,000 from the mining companies the documents are ambiguous on the amount in exchange for 93 of the 122 bars. Villa said that his men had taken the rest of the bars, according to the documents.

It really jumpstarted his reentry into the revolution in 1913, Brem said.

In addition, the documents reveal that a Wells Fargo agent in Mexico apparently tipped Villa to the silver shipment and then joined forces with him. Villas memoirs mention the train robbery, but not how he got rid of the bars.

Wells Fargo Express, which operated separately from the bank, was keen to avoid adverse exposure over the deal.

A May 10, 1913, letter written by the top Wells Fargo official involved in the correspondence, Executive Vice President , insists that the firm took no part in the payment of this money and stressed the importance of avoiding anything that could be construed as aiding and abetting the enemies of the government.

Wells Fargo kept the whole thing very, very hushhush, Brem said at the conference.

Granted, said Wells Fargo historian longchamp large travel bag Chandler, arranging a ransom is somewhat out of the ordinary, but its the type of business Wells always did acting as an intermediary.

Ironically, the firms executive, Jones, was soon to have a more dangerous, personal runin with Villa. According to a book about the company, called Wells Fargo: Advancing the , the episode that Jones would recall clearly many years later came the year after the train robbery, when Villa summoned Jones and another Wells Fargo official to his headquarters and demanded that the firm continue to do business on the northern railroads that Villa had seized.

They refused, and Villa ordered them held and executed. But, according to Jones account in the book, Villa met up with a charming and beautiful French girl in a cafe that evening and forgot to give the execution order, allowing Jones and his colleague time to be rescued by friends in the Mexican government. longchamp large travel bag