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


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.


Language
Resource Type
Status
  • Public
Date Range
1806 1987


Identification card for Wong Git issues in 1987. He was born in 1917 in China. He came to Cuba in 1948 and was a permanent resident of Cuba.

Created Date
1987

This is a certificate from the executive secretary of the Municipal Director of Education. This certificate was for Hector Fund for completing his class evaluations.

Created Date
1983

This is a certificate of completion from the Congress of the Center of Workers of Cuba to Hector Fund.

Created Date
1983

This documents the hiring Chinese settlers for public work projects. Not dated.

Created Date
1973

A contract between Fang-Achat, a Chinese settler, and L. Miguel Gonzalez. The contract does not state how long it was supposed to last, but it lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Contract signed by L. Miguel Gonzalez and two others, but not the settler. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
鄧, 七

The cedula or identity card for Cesares, a Chinese immigrant working in Cuba. He worked for Jesus Alalli.

An election roll from the Association of the Chinese settlers' Palma Soriano delegation of the Society of Instruction and Recreation. It lists the President, Vice President, Secretary, Vice Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer, and speakers. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

This is a certificate from the executive secretary of the Municipal Director of Education. This certificate was for Hector Fund for completing his class evaluations.

A letter from Francisco Changsoy and Jorge F. Hands, the President and the Secretary of the Delegation of Guantanamo. It lists the President, Vice President, Secretary, the Vice Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice Treasurer.

Identity card for foreigners, issued to Wing Git Wong, born in 1917. He entered Cuba in 1948 and became a permanent resident. His parents names are listed and he is said to reside in Soltero

Certified for the Consul General of Portugal.

This document contains a record of payments that were made out to several Chinese workers by their owner. While being indentured servants, Chinese settlers were given monthly wages for their services.

An identity record, or cedula, for a Chinese settler, Pelayo. He was brought from Soltero, China to Cuba to work for Nicolas Martines Valdivieso for eight years.

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia.

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation into the records of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but was working in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

A recommendation letter from an unnamed employer concerning the Chinese settlers he employed and their permanent residency status. Does not mention the names of the Chinese settlers.

Shipping records of Torices, Puentes y Co. regarding the ships they contracted to bring Chinese settlers from China to Cuba to work. Includes letters from captains of some of these ships detailing to the government their contracts with Torices, Puente y Co.

Describes changes to laws detailing the legal rights of Chinese settlers in Cuba. These changes focused on the working and religious rights as lawmakers hoped to instill in the settlers "good moral and religious" principles.

Shipping records for the frigates, Live Yankee and Wake, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. These workers were contracted in Macao. They were to be contracted out to other employers.

Business records for Doctors Eugenio Gonzales and Carlos Belot, professors of Medicine. They hired six Chinese settlers to work for them at their office.

Payment records of an unnamed employer. Lists the Chinese settlers employed, how much they are owed, and the total amount of pesos.

Certifies that the signer of this documents has been accepted as a member of the Mason Order with the degree of Master Mason in the China Masonry. He fulfilled the requirements of the order to become the Master Mason

A contract between Aqui, a Chinese settler, and Carlo Flotard, who worked as an agent for Campbell and Caro. Campbell and Caro gave Carlo Flotard the ability to contract Chinese workers and bring them from China to Cuba to work. The contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Aqui was originally from Poloe. Aqui did not negotiation or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Flotard, A. de Garza, and Cañete y Morales. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
亞, 之

Relates that several Chinese settlers were granted permanent residency in Cuba after meeting the legal requirements. Most of the document is a list of the settlers who received their residency.

This is a series of documents written in Chinese and Spanish, including a deposit certificate from Bank of China and an inviting letter to Chinese naval staff for a banquet. Other two welcome letters from Havana tobacco company to the Chinese naval are also included.

A photograph of a couple with a note "Foto Dore Real No. 119 Marianao". It is presumed that it was taken in the Marianao municipality in Havana.

Francisco Plazaola, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. He also dedicated his life and fealty to God.

Official naturalization document of Simon, a Chinese settler, who was granted his carta de naturaleza, or naturalization documents. Relates that Simon had take an oath of loyalty and obedience to the Cuban government that was required of him.

Serapio, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. He was baptized by Sebastian Juanenea.

Relates that Vicente, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

A contract between Narceso, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Signed by Narceso, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Record of business deal for Agapita Ruiz Gonzalez, Domingo Rios, and Juan Garcia concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Record of business deals for Jose Garcia and Agapita Ruiz Gonzalez with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission

Report on the efforts of Manuel B. de Pereda to bring Chinese settlers to Cuba to work. The Civil Government had to consider what ships could be allowed to import settlers, who could sponsor them, and the laws concerning their rights and work privileges.

Report on the efforts of Manuel B. de Pereda to bring Chinese settlers to Cuba to work. The Civil Government had to consider what ships could be allowed to import settlers, who could sponsor them, and the laws concerning their rights and work privileges.

A letter from Eugenio Ponton from the port of Havana to the mayor's office. It details a dispute between Gregorio Tejedor and the Society of Pereda, Machado y Co over compensation for some Chinese settlers that Tejedor contracted from the company.

A letter from C. J. Vallin to the governor. It details the arrival of a ship in Havana's harbor and the examination of the Chinese settlers onboard. The Administration of Sanity was satisfied with their health.

Relates that Juan Ley Acheu, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Records for the ship Flora, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with D. I. M. Zangroniz. On this trip, Flora brought settlers from China to work.

Records for the ship Flora, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Flora brought three hundred and nine settlers from China to work.

Records for the ship Flora, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Flora brought three hundred and nine settlers from China to work.

Records pertaining to the unfair arrest and trials of Chinese settlers, who the author believed made the society much less corrupt. However, the Cubans treat the settlers badly and as a result, they tend to lack the moral and religious principles the written wanted them to have. The author hopes that new laws and regulations will improve the situation of Chinese settlers in Cuba.

Records for the ship Live Yankee, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co.

This document contains a record of payments that were made out to several Chinese workers by their owner. Chinese settlers were given monthly wages for their services.

The Superior Civil Government investigates the Society of Bustmante y Troncaso's hiring practices, relating to the illegal hiring of Chinese settlers under the age of 14. Many of their contracts did not mention the age of the settlers as to avoid the legal age requirements.

This document contains a record of payments that were made out to several Chinese workers by their owner. While being indentured servants, Chinese settlers were given monthly wages for their services.

Burial records for Chinese settlers, overseen by a bishop. They were buried in a cemetery in Havana. The bishop asked for their to be a special cemetery for Chinese settlers that was to be set up by the Superior Government.

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The back reads: "For Mercedes, at seven months old"

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The back reads: "For my nephew and niece, Enrique and Mercedes de Rene at five months."