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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
1851 1892


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

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

Created Date
1872

These are two first contracts that were issued for two Chinese settlers in 1866 and in 1867. Signed and dated in Spanish.

Created Date
1866-10-18

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 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 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 Justino Campbell and the government of Cuba. The contract granted Justino Campbell the right to recruit Chinese settlers to come to Cuba to work. Campbell was permitted to use the ship Hoggersbank under Captain Achenback.

Created Date
1866-12-09

A contract between Chan Achan, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran. 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 A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, and Chan Achan, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-10-12

A contract between Asseng, a Chinese settler, and Carlos Flotard. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Asseng did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose R. Marquez.

Created Date
1851-10-05

A contract between Chan Quai, a Chinese settler, and N. Tanco Armero, an agent for Lombillo, Montalvo, and Co. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Chan Quai did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by A. Tanco Armero.

Created Date
1867-12-17

A contract between Lu, a Chinese settler, 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. Transferred to Jose M. Paya and then to J. G. Domenech. Lu did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by an agent from La Alianza and the original owner.

Contributors
余, 合
Created Date
1867-03-26

A contract between Felix, a Chinese settler, and Verga y Co. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Transferred to Jose W. y Bardenas and then to someone else.

Contributors
余, 成
Created Date
1860-07-26

A contract between Leopoldo, a Chinese settler, and D. Fernando Tuton, an agent for la Compania de Hacendados. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Leopoldo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the agent and Manuel Mente.

Contributors
林, 士
Created Date
1872-12-05

A contract between Mauricio, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Filipe de Mena. Signed by A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, and Mauricio, who signed in Chinese. Also the contract is featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1858-03-03

A contract between Chon-Moe, a Chinese settler, and H. de Closmadeuc. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Chon-Moe completed a contract with P. Campbell previously.

Contributors
張, 亞
Created Date
1860-09-29

A contract between Damian, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Laya. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Martin de Cardenas and Damian, who signed in Chinese.

This is a first contract signed by an unknown Chinese settler, in which he agreed to travel to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years.

Contributors
杜, 美
Created Date
1871-11-28

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and D. Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Renewal of Vicente's initial labor contract of six months. Signed by Martin de Cardenas y Layas and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Lim- Amec, a Chinese settler and Joaquin Barrera. Notes that Lim-Amec completed the contract. Signed by Juan Marquez and Lim Amec, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1854-01-23