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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
1847 1872


This is a first labor contract that belonged to a Chinese settler, Fulano, in which he agreed to relocate to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. Unlike most of the first contracts in this series, this contract was completely handwritten. It states that this contract was then transferred to Martin Pedroso on July 26, 1847. Originally signed 1847.

Created Date
1847-03-08

This is the first contract between Feliciano Yam and Goicoaría y Hermano for an undisclosed amount of time. December 1854.

Created Date
1854

A contract between Modesto and Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. He was originally from Macao.

Created Date
1869

A contract between Benigno, a Chinese settler, and Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted Benigno completed a contract with Teresa Sermanat previously. Beigno was originally from Canton. Benigno did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Juan Gellamano, Luis Alcantara, and Manuel Ruiz.

Created Date
1869

This is the first contract signed by Felis for a year. It mentions his wages, how he is to be treated by his owners, and the expectations of his work. Cardenas, June 1866

Created Date
1866

This is a first contract between Francisco, a Chinese settler, and Miguel Alfonia in March 1864.

Created Date
1864

A contract between Manuel, a Chinese settler, and Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Manuel completed a contract with Dona Lorna previously. Manuel did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Vivo y Fuentes, the governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-08-04

A contract between Juan, a Chinese settler, and Julian Garcia. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. He was originally from Canton. Noted he completed a contract with Jose Lopez Francesa previously. Juan did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Julian Garcia, the governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1863-08-27

A contract between Yao Afon, a Chinese settler, and J. Campbell. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time. Yao Afon signed in Chinese.

Contributors
邱, 芳
Created Date
1858-10-31

A contract between 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.

Contributors
鄭, 清
Created Date
1871-11-29

A contract between Tam-afsoi, a Chinese settler, and J. Campbell. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Contributors
谭, 瑞
Created Date
1860-12-22

A contract between Chiu Achu, a Chinese settler, and Peredo Machado 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.

Contributors
趙, 才
Created Date
1858-03-16

A contract between Ahou, 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.

Contributors
鄭, 合
Created Date
1856-11-16

A contract between Mauricio, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Mauricio signed in Chinese. Also features contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-11-24

A contract between Llong Aueng, a Chinese settler and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Also featured contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1858-03-13

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

Created Date
1871-12-02

A contract between O-Ah-Kaw, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. O-Ah-Kaw did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by A. R. Ferran.

Contributors
何, 锦
Created Date
1855-11-28

This is a first labor contract that was signed by Aman- a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to relocate to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. Originally signed 1855. El Bircantin Paquita was the agent for the original contract. On the second page, Julian a Pulueta states that this contract was transferred to Ramon de Gueregiaga for reasons unstated on April 18, 1856.

Created Date
1855-12-07

A contract between Afno, a Chinese settler, and F. Valdez. 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 Gomez. Afno did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by H. Velez.

Created Date
1858-01-18

A contract between Longsu, a Chinese settler, and Joaquin Pedroso y Echevarria. Notes the contract was then transferred to Cristoval Madan. On the back of the last page, the name Quintin Peoroso and the date June, 1858 is also mentioned. Siged by N. Yanco Armero and Longsu, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-12-10