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.


Date Range
1832 1992


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

Contract between Turbino, a Chinese settler, and Ramon and Carlos. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Turbino completed a contract with Ramon and Carlos previously. Turbino did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Manuel Chino and Juan Alara.

Created Date
1868

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

Contract between Elias, a Chinese settler, and Lorenzo de Castanede. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Elias completed a contract with Sr. Marcos previously. Elias did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Lorenzo de Castanedo and Vicente Sancho.

Created Date
1868-06-20

Contract between Gavino, a Chinese settler, and Luis de Alta. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Gavino completed a contract with Sr. Domingo previously. Gavino did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Domingo Sandina and Luis de Alta.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Fabian, a Chinese settler, and Juan Laudaluca. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Fabian completed a contract with Domingo y Gener previously. Fabian did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Juan de Laudalua.

Created Date
1877

A contract between At Atay Cayetano, a Chinese settler, and Luis Tapia. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Cayetano completed a contract with Florencio Tapia previously. Cayetano did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Luis Tapia, Domingo Garcia, Cecilio Lopez

Created Date
1879

A contract issued by Cafeteria Wakamba S. A. It stated that the money saved in the company could be drawn by three persons only. And when two of them agreed to draw the money, then they might draw the money successfully.

Contributors
翁, 恳芳
Created Date
1961

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler and his owner, Ramon; the term of the contract was for one year. 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-06

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

Created Date
1866-12-30

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

Created Date
1866-04-05

A contract between Matias, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1866-04-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Desiderio- a Chinese settler, and his owner, Jose Gomez; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Desiderio's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-04-05

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

Created Date
1866

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Federico, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Francisco Cairo. Federico was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Federico's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1868. Signed in Chinese by Federico.

Created Date
1868-03-28

A contract between Melitin, a Chinese settler, and la Compania de Caminos de Hierro. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Melitin completed a contract previously. Signed by Manuel Barque and Melitin, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1869

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

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Sabel, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Ramon Recio de Oguendo. Sabel was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year, in which Sabel was hired to do fieldwork. Details regarding Sabel's wage, food, and clothes that would be provided to him by Ramon Recio de Oguendo as well as the work hours required of him were stipulated in the document. 1867. Signed the governor, Ramon Recio de Oguendo, and in Chinese by Sabel,.

Created Date
1867-01-06

This is a contract between Jou, a Chinese settler, and Tomas Oliva in 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867