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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


Contract between Aurelio, a Chinese settler, and Antonio Elena, a Cuban landowner. This contract was for one year and is signed by Antonio Elena, the governor of Cuba, and Aurelio. Aurelio signed in Chinese. 1868.

Created Date
1868

Contract of Marcelo, a Chinese settler, for one year. 1868.

Created Date
1868

Contract between Agustin Soatao, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Juan Cabranes, for one year. Signed July 2, 1866.

Created Date
1866

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

A contract between Santiago, a Chinese settler, and Julian Aranga. The contract to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Julian Aranga, Benardo Martinez, and Santiago, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

Contract between Damian, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Julian Frango, to last one year. April 4, 1866.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Telechino, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez Rochel. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jose Gomez Rochel and Telechino, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Anselmo, a Chinese settler and Jose Romero. 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 Colon, Joaquin, and Anselmo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

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