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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.


These are the records of Jose Dolores, a Chinese settler brought from China to Cuba for work. The documents include handwritten contracts with various owners and recommendation letters, detailing his good behavior as a worker. His certificate of nationality is also included and was accepted by the governor of Cuba.

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 Antonio, a Chinese settler, and Pedro R. Casanas. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Benito completed a contract with Pedro previously. Antonio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Pedro Casanas, Manuel Ruiz, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-09-29

A contract between Benito, a Chinese settler, and Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Benito completed a contract with another employer previously.

Created Date
1869-08-04

A contract between Timoteo, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Paredes. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor, Manuel Paredes, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-10-12

A contract between Celestino, a Chinese settler, and Gabriel Nevo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Celestino did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor, Gabriel Nevo, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-08-04

A contract between Salomi, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Flores Apodaca. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Salomi did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor, Ramon Flores Apodaca, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-08-05

A contract between Serafin, a Chinese settler, and D. Ramon Flores Apodaca. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Serafin completed a contract with Ramon previously. Serafin did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Ramon Flores Apodaca, the Governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-08-05

A contract between Cariano, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Flores Apodaca. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Cariano did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor of Jaruco, Ramon Flores Apodaca, and two witnesses, but not Cariano.

Created Date
1869-08-05

A contract between Antonio, a Chinese settler, and Elias Lolano y Garcia. Antonio was originally from Macao. Noted that Antonio completed a contract with Juan Oxaca previously. Antonio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor, Elias Lolano y Garcia, and two witnesses.