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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.


Date Range
1832 1992


A contract between Marcelino, a Chinese immigrant, and Felipe Macao. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Marcelino was originally from Canton. Notes that Marcelino had completed a contract with Jose Manuel Laos previously. Contract signed by Felipe Macao, Jose de Garcia, Acarpo Aloansa, and Marcelino. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Jose Tomas, a Chinese immigrant, and Juan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Jose Tomas completed a contract previously. Contract signed by Juan, the governor, and Jose Tomas. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Domingo, a Chinese settler, and Pedro J. Garcia. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Domingo completed a contract with Pedro J. Garcia previously. Contract signed by Pedro J. Garcia, Domingo, and the governor. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Carlos, a Chinese immigrant and Jose Oteza. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Contract signed by Jose Manuel Gonzales, Carlos, and the governor.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Roque, a Chinese immigrant and Miguel Plana. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Roque was originally from Canton. Roque did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. The contract is signed by Miguel Plana, Valentin Mortin, Anastacio Gonzales, and Luis Torres.

Created Date
1868-08-24

A contract between Apiselo Alpa, a Chinese immigrant and Paulino Ligarreta. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Apiselo was originally from Canton. Notes that Apiselo completed a contract with Tomas Alogila previously. The contract is signed by Apiselo Alpa, Paulino Ligarreta, and Juan Caña. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-07-08

A contract between Ambrosio, a Chinese immigrant and Jose Antonio Franco. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Jose Antonio Franco noted that Ambrosio completed a contract with Jose Hernandez previously. Ambrosio was original from Chon. Ambrosio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates someone else signed for him. Contract signed by Jose A. Franco, Joaquin Lerpona, Tenunte Gabor, and Manuel Rave

Created Date
1876-05-12

A contract between Ambrosio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Franco. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Ambrosio completed a contract with Jose Hernandez previously. Ambrosio was originally from Chon. Ambrosio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. The contract is signed by Jose Franco, Manuel Rave, and Joaquin.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Telefiro, a Chinese settler, and Luis de Alele. Telefiro was originally from Macao. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Telefiro completed a contract previously. Telefiro did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Domingo Sadaña, Andres Mendez, and Jose Ladele.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Remipo and Manuel Borgan. This contract is signed by Remipo in Chinese and Manuel Borgan.

Created Date
1869

A contract between Higinio Crispin, a Chinese immigrant, and Vicente Vega. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Higinio was originally from Canton. Noted Higinio completed a contract with Jacinto Larrinago previously. Signed by Vicente Vega and Higinio.

Created Date
1868-05-27

This is a work contract between Anaeleto, a Chinese immigrant working in Cuba and a company that builds roads. Anaeleto originally was from Laui-sin. The contract is signed by Anaeleto in Chinese, Manuel Borque, and the governor, Jose Lope.

Created Date
1864

This is a work contract between Bejaceto, a Chinese immigrant working in Cuba and Justo Selles. Bejaceto was originally from Nam-Joy and was brought to Cuba in Chang Yon. Bejaceto has already completed a contract with Isidro Hernandez. The contract is signed by Justo Selles, Jose Antonio Puigo, Valentin Belltran, and the governor, Armando.

Created Date
1869-07-24

A contract between Polomo O. Avoin, a Chinese immigrant, and Jose Armiros. Noted Polomo completed a contract with Calvo previously. Signed by Jose Quivos, Jose Mendez, Jose Armiros, and Polomo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1870-12-08

A contract between Francisco, a Chinese settler, and Jose de la Portilla, a Cuban landowner. The contract was to last for one and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Francisco completed a contract with Jose de la Portilla previously. Jose de la Portilla then assisted Francisco in gaining permanent residency in Cuba

Created Date
1871

A contract between Liborio or Yong-aun, a Chinese settler, and Juan Poey. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Leborio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Contract signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1878-07-15

This contract is between Pedro, a Chinese settler, and Arcuna. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Pedro did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1870-01-15

A contract between Justo, a Chinese immigrant, and Gaspar Vinals. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Justo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Lopes Francas, Manuel de la Fuente, and Gaspar Vinals.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Vila y Terrer. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Ramon Vila y Terrer and Ricardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1869

A contract between Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Juan Hernandez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Noted that Pablo completed a contract with Juan Hernandez previously. Pablo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Contract signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1871