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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.


Status
  • Public
Date Range
1854 1873


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

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

Created Date
1873

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Created Date
1868

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