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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.


Language
Date Range
1854 1873


A contract between Lau Telesforo, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio F. 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. Lau was originally from Tokien. Signed by Ignacio F. de Castro and Lau, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Contributors
沈, 使
Created Date
1863-09-10

A contract between San Kim or Fernando Guerra, a Chinese settler, and an agent of Ignacio 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 Al MacKay and San Kim, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1854-06-05

A contract between Jose or Ang Ki, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio T. de Casta and Manuel B. Pereda. 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 Ignacio T. de Casta and Ang Ki, who signed in Chinese. Contract also featured in Chinese.

Contributors
洪, 柿
Created Date
1863-09-10

A contract between Zuan-Tae, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio Fernandes 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. Zuan-Tae did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Nicario Canete y Moral. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1863-09-22

A letter to the Brigadier General Governor concerning the permanent residency of Saturnina, a Chinese settler who completed her eight year control with Marques Duqueme. Her contract, in Spanish and Chinese, is also included. 1855.

Contributors
林, 贵
Created Date
1855

Certifies that Valentin, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer. He was eventually granted permanent residency after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1871

Certifies that Justo, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Miguel Armona. He then entered into a contract with Gaspar Vinato.

Created Date
1861

Certifies that Justo, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Miguel Armona. He was eventually granted permanent residency after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1865

Certifies that Francisco Colono, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Diego de Fonseca.

Created Date
1868

Certifies that Serafin, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, the company La Pura y Limpia. He had also completed a previous contract with Vidal Delioguez y Co.

Created Date
1865-06-23

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
1863-10-10

This collection of personal records formed an application for permanent residence on the island of Cuba that belonged to a Chinese settler named Leoncio. The documents included in this collection are the formal written request for Leoncio's permanent residence card, his baptism certificate, several documents written by his past owners attesting to his good conduct during the completion of his labor contracts, and five copies of five of his second labor contracts. 1865.

Created Date
1865-09-02

These compiled records formed the application for permanent residence on the island of Cuba that belonged to a Chinese settler named Feliciano. Included in this collection are the formal written request for Feliciano's permanent residence card, his baptism certificate, several documents written by his past owners attesting to his good conduct during the completion of his labor contracts, and two copies of two of his second labor contracts. The last document in this collection is the written acceptance of his request for permanent residence that was signed in 1868.

Created Date
1868-04-01

This collection of official documents formed the application for a carta de domicilio, or permanent residence card, that belonged to a Chinese settler named Fermin. The documents included in the application packet include two of Fermin's second labor contracts from 1860 and 1867, his baptism certificate that was signed in 1867, a rehire request signed in 1867, a certificate written by one of his past owners that certified that Fermin had completed two labor contracts with satisfactory conduct, and a written request for his carta de domicilio that was signed on April 6, 1868.

Created Date
1868-04-06

This collection of documents formed an application packet for permanent residence in Cuba that belonged to a Chinese settler named Perfecto. Apart from the formal written request (which is page 16) for his carta de domicilio, or permanent residence card, other documents included in this selection include a formal request for a new labor contract, two copies of two of his work contracts, his baptism certificate, and a few certifications written by his past owners indicating that he had completed his work contracts with them in good terms. 1866.

Created Date
1866

Application documents “Letter Home” (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1868. Contains: signed application documents in Chinese; certificate of baptism of the Catholic Church; Chinese settler contract in the city of Cardenas; several letters of recommendation from several owner certifying that their contracts fulfilled without problems

Created Date
1868

A letter to the Secretary of the Government of Cuba requesting naturalization of a Chinese settler, Leonardo Valdez. He was originally from Canton, but promises to renounce his rights as a citizen of China if he is make a Cuban citizen. Included are records of his past work contracts and letters of recommendation from past employers.

Created Date
1873

This compilation of documents represents Onofre's request to either be naturalized as a Spanish citizen, or to receive his permission for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents included are his first contract, baptism certificate, personal ID card, and his request for residency, among several other personal documents. The first page in this selection is the written request for his permanent residence of naturalization, and the second to last document is the acceptance of his request for permanent residence.1863.

Created Date
1863-09-22

This compilation of personal documents that belonged to Eustaquio- a Chinese settler, formed his application packet for his permanent residence card in Cuba. Included in the collection are his baptism certificate, his personal ID card, and his original first contract, among several other documents. The first page of this selection contains the written request for Eustaquio's permanent residence, and the last passage in the final page explains that his request was accepted. 1863

Created Date
1863-09-16

This collection of personal documents that belonged to Antonio- a Chinese settler, formed his application packet to become a permanent resident of Cuba. Included in this selection are his baptism certificate, his personal ID card, letters of recommendation, and his original first contract, among several other documents. The first page in the collection is a written request for Antonio's permanent residence, and the final passage in the last page is the acceptance of his request. 1863.

Contributors
英, 斗
Created Date
1863-09-17

This collection of personal documents belonged to Pascual Guerra, a Chinese settler, and comprised his application for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents in this collection include his first contract, baptism certificate, and a review written by one past owner attesting to his poor conduct. The final document in this selection certifies that Pascual sought to become a Spanish subject and obey Spanish laws; it is signed by an official who accepted Pascual's request for permanent residence in Cuba. 1863

Created Date
1863-09-09

This collection of personal documents belonging to Antonio, a Chinese settler, forms his application for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents in this collection include his first contract, baptism certificate, and "reviews" written by his past owners attesting to his good conduct. The second to lat page in this selection certifies that Antonio sought to become a Spanish subject and obey Spanish laws; it is signed by an official who accepted Antonio's request for permanent residence in Cuba. 1863

Created Date
1863-09-10

Relates that Ramon, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract with Ruigo Medina y Co.

Created Date
1866-02-08

Application documents “Letter Home” (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1866. Contains: letters of recommendation from the owner certifying that fulfilled his contract of 8 years; Chinese settler contract in the city of Cardenas; identity card of Chinese settlers, legalized with a police seal; original contract written in Chinese and Castilian, Swaton 1857; identity card of Chinese settlers; other documents

Created Date
1857

Record of a Chinese settler letter home. Contains: recontract request signed in Chinese in 1865, Chinese settler original contract in Matanzas in 1864, Identity card for Chinese settlers in 1864, Chinese settler original contract in Matanzas in 1865, record of baptism of Chinese settler 1865, Request for a letter of address- he said he was hired at the ingenio Carmen oliva, compliance with contract document in the sugar mill with carmen olivia 1866, recommendations of good conduct from previous owners, pledge of allegiance the the Spanish crown signed in chinese

Created Date
1865

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

Relates that an unnamed Chinese settler was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1873

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

Created Date
1863-09-09

5.Application Documents "Letter Home" (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1865. Contains: Identity card of Chinese settlers, legalized with a police seal; letter of recommendation from the owner certifying that fulfilled his contract of 8 years; Chinese settlers statements; Government contract Guanabacoa, have working conditions

Created Date
1865

Record of a Chinese settler letter for home. Contains: application for a certificate of naturalization of Chinese settlers. Signed in Chinese, chinese settler original contract in spanish Cardenas 1867 signed in chinese, Record of baptism 1866, recommendations of good conduct from the Captaincy of Lagunillas, nature tasting request signed in Chinese, original contract Macao Chinese settler written in Chinese and Spanish in 1858 and signed in Chinese, pledge of allegiance to the Spanish crown Chinese settler

Created Date
1858

This is a document requesting permanent residency for Antonio, a Chinese settler, who has completed his contract with Jorge Harris.

Created Date
1863

Relates that Federico, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He worked for the Gran Azucaria, a sugar cane producer.

Created Date
1867

Relates that Leon Padron, a Chinese settler, was applying for permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract and was baptized into the Catholic Church

Created Date
1868

Record with multiple documents about a Chinese settler including christening record; labor-hire document; successful completion of term-contract certification; certificate of good conduct; and other documents

Created Date
1866

Relates that Pecho, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. Pecho completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Ignacio Montalvo Calvo.

Created Date
1866-05-09

List of Chinese settlers hired in jurisdiction of San Antonio who have left. Contains information on hiring, ages, dates of the contract term. Also includes a list of Chinese workers who have relocated from Villa de San Antonio in March.

Created Date
1861

Relates that At Atay Cayetano, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He had worked for Pedro Larronde of the Descauso Sugar Factory, Florencio Tapia, and Luis Tapia. He completed an eight-year contract with Pedro Larronde.

Created Date
1871

This collection of official documents formed the application for a carta de domicilio, or permission to permanently reside in Cuba, that belonged to a Chinese settler named Wencerlao Calderin. The documents that are included in this selection are Calderin's official request for his carta de domicilio that was signed on June 26, 1866, a rehire request that was signed in 1855, and five separate certifications of contract completion and good conduct that were written by his past owners.

Created Date
1866-06-26

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

Created Date
1863-09-10

This collection of personal documents that belonged to Serafin- a Chinese settler, formed his official application packet for his carta de domicilio (permanent residence card) that would grant him permission to permanently reside in Cuba and to establish himself on the island. Included in this selection are his baptism certificate, a second labor contract, a letter from one of his former owners, Jose Ruiz, describing Serafin's conduct in regards to his work ethic and character, and the official request form for permanent residence that was signed by Serafin in Chinese. 1866.

Created Date
1866-04-11

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

Created Date
1866-06-06