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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 1961


A contract between a Chinese settler and Jose de Cruz Torrez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1864-07

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

Created Date
1858

This is a contract for Feliciano Luisi with Jose de la Portilla. May 1871.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Jose Leon, a Chinese settler, and Jose Quintera. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1870

A contract between Tong-Atac, a Chinese settler, and H. de Closmadeuc and Campbell 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. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
冯, 口得
Created Date
1860-11-19

A contract between Lin Kun Mui or Manuel, a Chinese settler, and R. Calderon, the agent of La Alianza 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. Notes the contract was transferred to Jose Manuel Palla. Lin Kun Mui did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1867-03-18

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

Created Date
1867-09-30

This is a first contract that was signed by Jang, a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to leave China and travel to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. He signed his contract with Ignacio-Fernandez de Castro of Cadiz.

Created Date
1853-01-11

Relates that Roque, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1863-09-09

This is a list of Chinese settlers who were imprisoned in a particular jail from April to August 1858 in Cienfuegos for running away from their masters and breaking their contracts. These runaways are referred to as "maroons". One was reported as requiring a stay in the hospital while five others were returned to their owners.

Created Date
1858

Laws pertaining to the legal rights of of landowners living in a certain area and their obligations. This includes how owners are supposed to write their contracts with their Chinese workers, including informing them of their payment and the terms of their contracts.

Created Date
1886

A contract between Lattae, 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. Notes that this contract was transferred to Jose M. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

Records for the ships Solide of Dieppe, Bitty Sriapera, and Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with various employers. On this trip, the Solide of Dieppe brought 184 settlers from China to work for ___.

Created Date
1860-05-24

This is an application for permanent residency for Pascual, a Chinese settler. It includes the settler's original contract signed in Macao, a letter of recommendation from a previous owner, stating that he had completed an eight year contract, his cedula or identity card, and a certificate of baptism.

Created Date
1865

A report on the results of Chinese immigration to Cuba, the average ages of these immigrants and what they have done since coming to Cuba. 1865.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Lini-Tsai, a Chinese settler, and an agent of Ygnacio Fernandez de Castro. 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 Lini-Tsai, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
亦, 在
Created Date
1855

Permission to enter the island of Cuba in a shipment of Chinese settlers in the English ship “Carpentaria”. Contractual printed in Chinese and Castilian.

This is the second contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas for the period of six months. This contract is undated and signed in Chinese.

Record the death of a Chinese settler in 1865. contains: other documents; identity card Chinese settlers; original contract written in Chinese and Castilian, Macao 1860.

Created Date
1865

This is a letter requesting background information on the Chinese settler, Dupenio, and his past work in order to renew a contract. 1864

Created Date
1864