Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.

No. 188.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy and translation of a law of this government which establishes the American gold standard as the monetary standard of the Dominican Republic. This law really only confirms and gives unquestionable legal sanction to the practice previously existing in all transactions.

It was passed and promulgated during my recent absence on leave and has only just now come to my attention.

I have, etc.,

T. C. Dawson.


The National Congress, in the name of the Republic and by the initiative of the Executive power, the three constitutional readings being had and urgency declared, considering that it is well for the country to fix definitely the value of the national money in order that it may circulate as a fraction of gold money, decrees:

Article 1. All transactions and payments made in the Republic shall be effected upon the single base of gold money, taking as the universal standard coined American gold.

Art. 2. From and after the publication of the present decree, under the name “peso” shall be understood only the American “dollar.”

Art. 3. In order to facilitate small transactions there shall also be in circulation silver coins and, for the very small, nickel and copper coins.

Art. 4. The gold value of the national coin already in circulation is the following:

The coin of silver alloy marked “5 francs,” emission of 1891, is worth and shall be worth 40 cents gold, and the fractions of said emission in proportion.
The coin of silver alloy marked “1 peso,” emission of 1897, is and shall be worth 20 cents in gold; the fractional coins of the same emission in proportion.
The coin of nickel alloy marked “2.5 cents,” of various emissions, is and shall be worth 0.5 cent gold; that marked “1.25 cents” is and shall be worth 0.25 cent gold.
The coin of copper alloy, emission of 1891, marked “ten-hundredths of a franc” is and shall be worth 1 cent gold; that marked “five-hundredths of a franc” is and shall be worth 0.5 cent gold.

Art. 5. The payments to be made in fiscal and municipal offices, or which result from a judicial instrument on account of obligations between private individuals, shall be made in American coined gold, but the person paying has the option of making said payment in the proportion of 70 per cent in American coined gold and 30 per cent in national silver money, or in American coined silver.

§ Among these thirty units of national money there may be admitted five units of national nickel or copper.

[Page 413]

§§ The Executive remains authorized to receive in fiscal offices American paper money or silver at the same value and proportion as coined gold, as long as it may judge such action advisable.

Art. 6 In no specie payment for a greater sum than 50 pesos shall the creditor be obliged to receive more than 30 per cent in national or American silver, nor of nickel and copper more than 5 per cent, except in case of a contrary agreement between the parties.

Art. 7. The present decree does not affect at all obligations contracted between private individuals before its promulgation, and repeals all provisions in contradiction with itself.

§ It shall be sent to the Executive for the constitutional purposes.

  • J. E. Otero Nolasco,
  • J. D. Alfonseca H.,
  • A. Acevedo,

Let it be executed, communicated by the proper department, and published in all the territory of the Republic for its fulfillment.

Morales L.

Federico Velasquez H.,
Minister of Finance and Commerce.