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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
1832 1992


A contract between Jacinto, a Chinese settler, and Jose Olauo. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Jose Olauo wrote a letter of good conduct for a future employer. Signed by Jose Olauo and Jacinto, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1875-10-26

Five Chinese settlers completed a contract with their original employer and were seeking to sign a new labor contract. Their owner agreed to sign a new one.

Created Date
1875-10-07

This is a request made to the Cuban government on the behalf of Trinidad Amador, a Spanish bussinessman, in which he sought permission to renew the contracts of five of his Chinese workers. 1875

Created Date
1875-10-07

A contract between Onofre, a Chinese settler, and El Marques Du Luerne. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Onofre completed a contract with el Marques Du Luerne previously. Signed by Onofre, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1875-06-08

A contract between Paluas, a Chinese settler, and el Marques de Guesme. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Paluas completed a contract with el Marques de Guesme previously.

Created Date
1875-06-08

5 Chinese settlers completed a contract with Trinidad Amador and was seeking to sign a new labor contract with his original owner. His owner agreed to sign a new one.

Created Date
1875-04-23

This is a response to a rehire request made by Trinidad Amador, the owner of Yela de Pinos, written and signed by the the count Lagunilla, governor of Cuba. It states that the contracts of five indentured servants, Bernarndo, Candido, Teofilo, Amado, and Alicio will be renewed. No date given.

Created Date
1875

A contract between Judas, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Bello. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Judas completed a contract with Manuel Bello previously. Signed by Manuel Bello, Jose Lopez Francais, and Judas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1874

These are two death certificates that were issued for two Chinese settlers. The first one was signed on October 12, 1874, and pertained to a young girl named Brigida Fuentes who was the daughter of a Chinese settler named Celestina Fuentes. The second certificate was signed on October 5, 1874, and pertained to an unknown person. Havana.

Created Date
1874

Joribio Padron, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with Juan Diez. Diez recommended that Joribio 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 Joribio always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1873-10-16