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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
1854 1873


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

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

Created Date
1866-06-06

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

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 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

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

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

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

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