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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.


A contract between Felix, a Chinese settler, and Esteban Parody. The contract was to last for three years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Felix did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Esteban Pasos, Fernando, and Jose Herman.

Created Date
1862-02-10

This is a letter of good conduct from Manuel de Valle stating that Fernando, a Chinese settler, has completed his contract and displayed good conduct while working for de Valle.

Created Date
1863

A contract between Fernando, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Cairo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Junio completed a contract with Domingo Morales previously. Signed by two witnesses, the governor, and the new owner. Sagua de Grande.

Created Date
1868-03-20

Certifies that Fernando, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Francisco Arrieta.

Created Date
1868-09-06

Document describes how Diego Jimenez met with some Chinese settlers to discuss their contracts. He explained how they needed to fulfill eight-year contracts with the same employer in order to apply for permanent residency under Cuban law. These settlers all claimed to have completed their eight-year contracts. Diego Jimenez investigated their employer Froncaso Bustamante y Co considering whether their employment practices were legal, especially considering sick or injured workers.

Created Date
1868-09-15

A contract between Fernando, a Chinese settler, and Jose de la Espinoza. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Noted that Fernando completed a contract with Jose de la Espinoza previously. Signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1871

Records for the ship Lucie, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the agent, Fernando. On this trip, the Lucie brought 360 settlers from China to work for ___. List of 360 Chinese settlers brought from Macao, China to Cuba on the French ship "Lucie".

Created Date
1871