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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 Lomas, a Chinese settler, and Julian Arango. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Julian Arango, and Lomas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Cecilio, a Chinese settler, and D. Jose Garcia. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Joaquin de Gonzalez, the governor, and Cecilio, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
亞, 和
Created Date
1866-05-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Emeterio Jaugi, and his owner, Gabriel Ferra; the term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-08-22

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Filomeno, and his owner, Peliona Fernandez; the term of the contract was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-12-20

A contract between Judas, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Bello. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Judas completed a contract with Manuel Bello previously. Signed by Manuel Bello, Jose Lopez Francais, and Judas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1874

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 contract between Antonio, a Chinese settler, and J. Smith for the term of one year. 1861. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861

Contract between Antonio, a Chinese settler, and Petrona Hernandes for six months in the countryside. The contract is signed by Petrona Hernandes, Antonio, and the governor of Cuba. Antonio signed in Chinese. 1866.

Created Date
1866

Contract between Homero, a Chinese settler, and I. Smith, a landowner, for a year of work on his farm. Signed January 6, 1867.

Created Date
1867

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Jose, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Luis de Alda. He was brought to Cuba to serve as an indentured servants and the term of the contract was for six months. Details regarding Jose's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Nicolas, a Chinese settler, and Ramon and Carlos Jonts. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Ramon, Carlos Jonts, and Nicolas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Juan Aden, a Chinese settler and Paulino Ligarrela. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Juan completed a contract with Gabriel Gomez previously. Signed by Paulino Ligarrela and Juan, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Teofilo, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Fuentes. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Ramon Fuentes, and Teofilo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Guyarro. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Vicente completed a contract with Manuel Guyarro previously. Signed by Manuel Guyarro and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Francisco- a Chinese settler, and a Cuban landlord named D. Pedro L. Garcia; the contract term, as specified within the contract, was for one year. 1968. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-06-28

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Celestino, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Pablo Momilo; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Celestino's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-06-28

A contract between Evanito and Jacobo Varela. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jacobo Varela and Evanito, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Lacorios, a Chinese settler and Felipe Macau. 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 Felipe Macau, the governor of Cuba and Lacorios, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

Contract between Leandro, a Chinese settler, and Lorenzo Puán, for one year.

Created Date
1866