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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.


Shipping records for a frigate that brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. These settlers were later contracted by other employers in Sagua la Grande.

Created Date
1873

This is a second work contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Figaro, and a Cuban landlord, Carlos Aomingues; the term of the contract was for six months. 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-27

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler and his owner, Ramon; the term of the contract was for one year. 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-06

This is the first labor contract that between a Chinese settler named Eleuterio, also known as Santiago, and his owner, Don Juan. The term of the contract was for one year. This document is signed by the governor of Colon, Don Juan and Eleuterio. 1867.

Created Date
1867-01-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Sabel, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Ramon Recio de Oguendo. Sabel was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year, in which Sabel was hired to do fieldwork. Details regarding Sabel's wage, food, and clothes that would be provided to him by Ramon Recio de Oguendo as well as the work hours required of him were stipulated in the document. 1867. Signed the governor, Ramon Recio de Oguendo, and in Chinese by Sabel,.

Created Date
1867-01-06

A contract between Nicolas, a Chinese settler, and Jose Marrera. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Nicolas was brought from China to Cuba to work as an indentured servant and was contracted to work as a tobacconist for Marrera's tobacco shop. Signed by Marrera and Nicolas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Paris, a Chinese settler, and his owners, los Herederos. Paris was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for six months. Details regarding Paris's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1867. This is signed by the governor, the Herederos brothers, and by Paris in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-05

A contract between Jose Tomas, a Chinese immigrant, and Juan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Jose Tomas completed a contract previously. Contract signed by Juan, the governor, and Jose Tomas. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

This is a contract between Jou, a Chinese settler, and Tomas Oliva in 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Lomas, a Chinese settler, and Julian Arango. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Julian Arango, and Lomas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867