Chinese Immigrants in Cuba: Documents from the James and Ana Melikian Collection

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Date Range
1806 2015
Created Date: 1869-03-22
Description: This is a first contract that was signed in Macao, China, by Jon Duag, a Chinese immigrant; the duration of the contract was for eight years. The second page of the contract reveals that upon arrival in Cuba, he was ceded to Jose Busquet on Sept. 3, 1869, and once again to another owner on May 28, 1873.

Created Date: 1866-05-06
Description: A contract between Pedro, a Chinese settler, and Jose Romano. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Pedro completed a contract previously with Ingenio S Carlos. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Jose Romano and Pedro, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date: 1867-08-22
Description: Felix, a Chinese settler, completed a contract with San Martin, a sugar factory, under Benitez Siron y Co and was seeking to sign a new labor contract with his original owner. His owner agreed to sign a new one.

Created Date: 1877-05-05
Description: This is a labor contract signed by Jobita, a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to work for a new owner for one year. This contract was issued between Jobita and his new owner after he completed an initial labor contract with another owner. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date: 1868-07-15
Description: Relates that Laureano, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date: 1855-03-20
Description: A contract between Jau Seoul, a Chinese settler, and Ygnacio Fernandez de Castro. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Pablo Paneide. Signed by Jau Seoul, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date: 1868-05-20
Description: A contract between Suno, a Chinese settler, and Francisco R. Gleao. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Signed by Carlos Hernandez and Suno, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date: 1867-11-26
Description: A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Angel Garcia. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Ricardo was originally from Canton. Notes that Ricardo completed a contract with Joaquin Forcano previously.

Created Date: 1867
Contributors: 吳, 才
Description: These are two separate first labor contracts that belonged to two Chinese settlers, in which they agreed to travel to Cuba to work as indentured servants for eight years. One contract was signed in 1867 and the other in 1861. La Alianza were the agents for these contracts.

Created Date: 1858-03-03
Description: A contract between Mauricio, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Filipe de Mena. Signed by A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, and Mauricio, who signed in Chinese. Also the contract is featured in Chinese.

The Chinese Immigrants in Cuba collection includes hundreds of original documents, manuscripts and photos covering the migration of 125,000 Chinese who signed up to be cheap labor in Cuba from 1847 until the later 1890s. The archive continues until the 1970s and records the Chinese community in Cuba and is rich with photos. This massive collection, from the archive of James and Ana Melikian Collection, is probably the largest one in private hands concerning Chinese in Cuba. At present the collection contains over 1341 records and about 8,000-9,000 pages.