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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

A blank contract for employees working with agents Mariano del Pielago and Merino Gelledo. It has two language versions: Spanish and Chinese. It indicates the instructions that the employees should follow.

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

This collection of personal documents that belonged to Ricardo, a Chinese settler, specifically his application for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents in this collection include his first contract, personal ID card, baptism certificate, and several "reviews" written by his past owners attesting to good conduct. The final document in this selection is a testimony of Ricardo's promise to abide by Cuban and Spanish laws; he signed it upon the approval of his request for permanent residence.

Created Date

Marco, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with Ramon Saladriga. Saladriga recommended that Marco be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer. The letter also states that Marco has been contracted by Jose Gomez.

Created Date

Relates that Ham Jan, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract with Manuel Bernabe Pereda.

Created Date