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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
Date Range
1847 1872


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

Contract between Jose Miguel, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Glean. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Jose completed a contract previously. Signed by Francisco Glean and Jose Miguel, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

Marco, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with Ramon Saladriga. Saladriga recommended that Marco be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer. The letter also states that Marco has been contracted by Jose Gomez.

Created Date
1870

This is the first labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Leopoldo, and his owner, Felipe Macau, presumably a freed Chinese settler. Leopoldo had already completed a contract with Joaquin Tiago. He was brought from Canton to Cuba to work as an indentured servant in Soltero. The term of the contract with Don Felipe was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese by Leopoldo.

Created Date
1866-05-20

This is the first labor contract that between a Chinese settler named Eleuterio, also known as Santiago, and his owner, Don Juan. The term of the contract was for one year. This document is signed by the governor of Colon, Don Juan and Eleuterio. 1867.

Created Date
1867-01-06

A contract between Felix, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez y Rochet. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Felix completed a contract with Jose Gomez previously. Felix did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Gomez.

Created Date
1866

This is the first contract between Napoleon, a Chinese settler, and Juan Smith, his owner for the term of one year of work in Colon.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Atanacio, a Chinese settler and Juan Becio. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor, Juan Becio, and Atanacio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

This is a second labor contract between a Chinese settler named Tadeo and Augustus de Sagua, a Chinese landlord. The term of the contract was for one year. It was signed by the governor of Cuba, Augustus de Sagua, and Tadeo. Signed in Chinese by Tadeo.

Created Date
1868-05-26

This is the first contract between Nicolas Eblao and Vicente Vega in Guanajay. The length of the contract is not stated. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Vongcheong Lon, a Chinese settler, and R. Solares. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Vongcheong Lon was originally from Fayune. Also features contract in Chinese.

Contributors
黃, 昌龍
Created Date
1866

This is a first contract that was signed by Li Naiye, a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to travel to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. He was brought to Cuba on the patronage of Rosendo Mayos and the Company of Hacendados. Several contracts ares included and it is later states that the contracts were fulfilled.

Created Date
1872

This document states that Rufino, a Chinese settler, completed his contract with Dolores Jimenez and then was contracted by a new owner upon its completion. Rufino filed a complaint against his second owner, Jose Cardenas, for a missing payment promised in his contract. Rufino entered into several more contracts with other owners afterwards.

Created Date
1868

This is a first labor contract that was signed by a young, Chinese settler named Yong Wong, in which he agreed to leave China and relocate to Cuba where he would be required to work as an indentured servant for eight years. On the second page, Rafael R. Torices states that the contract was transferred to Juan Peiral on December 1, 1856 and then again to José Cria on January 4 of an unknown year. Originally signed 1856.

Contributors
楊, 王
Created Date
1856-04-17

A contract between Lilio, a Chinese settler and R. Calderon and la Alianza. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. His contract was then passed to Domenech.

Created Date
1867

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

Created Date
1872

Relates that Ham Jan, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract with Manuel Bernabe Pereda.

Created Date
1856

A contract between Wan, a Chinese settler, and Joaquin Pedroso y Echeverra, Luis Pedroso and Jose Maria Morales. The contract was signed to bring Wan from China to Cuba to work. Wan was contracted in Havana by Merced Casanova, which was then transferred to Joaquin de Soto and Nicolas Garcia Valdez. Signed by Wan in Chinese.

Created Date
1857

A contract between Choum-Atac, a Chinese settler, and Selles Crusellas and Company. The contract was to last for five years and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Notes that Choum-Atac was baptized as Francisco. This contract was signed by the governor, Joaquin Planas, and Selles Crusellas.

Created Date
1861

A contract between Li Afi, a Chinese settler, and Selles Cruellas and Company. The contract was to last for five years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that this contract was later transferred to Marcel Fremeda in Havana. Signed by the governor, two witnesses, and Selles Cruellas.

Created Date
1868