Skip to main content

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
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
Date Range
1851 1886


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.

Contributors
吳, 才
Created Date
1867

Contract of a Chinese settler, born in Nam today, China. Written in Spanish and Chinese.

Created Date
1872

Chinese settler contract signed in Canton in 1866. Written is Castilian and Chinese. Visible defects. The Chinese, Liang Riquan was willing to go to Cuba as a worker. This contract was issued to him and he was requested to follow the instruction.

Contributors
粱, 日全
Created Date
1866

A contract between Vong-Ayon, a Chinese settler, and the Asian Company of Havana run by A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The Asian Company of Havana was to bring Vong-Ayon from China to Cuba to work. The contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Signed by Cañete y Morales, A. R. Ferran, and J. R. Vargas. Also written in Chinese.

Contributors
黃, 閠
Created Date
1857-11-26

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

A contract between Gu-Lan-Guay, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Gu Lan Guay was brought from China to Cuba aboard the Nate Hooper. Gu Lan Guay did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Contract signed by A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, A. de Garza. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
古, 丁
Created Date
1857

A contract between Wam-Asem, a Chinese settler, and the company of A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Wam-Asam did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by A. R. Ferran, Manuel Antonio de Garza. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1856

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

A contract between, Sim Cheng Cristobal, a Chinese settler, and the agent of Ignacio 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. Signed by MacKay, the agent, and Cristobal, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
林, 清
Created Date
1854-03-06

A contract between Lim Chin, a Chinese settler, and Jose Maria Morales. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Lim was originally from Hong Kong. Signed by N. Armeio and Lim, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Contributors
連, 蕉
Created Date
1857-08-27