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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 1961


Certifies that several Chinese settlers completed contracts with the Military Path of Este.

Created Date
1873

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

Created Date
1873

Benigno, a Chinese settler, completed a contact with Antonio Handruga and was seeking to sign a new labor contract with his original owner.

Created Date
1872

This is a rehire request for Bernardo, a Chinese settler, and Amado, a Chinese landowner.

Created Date
1871

This is a contract for Feliciano Luisi with Jose de la Portilla. May 1871.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Polomo O. Avoin, a Chinese immigrant, and Jose Armiros. Noted Polomo completed a contract with Calvo previously. Signed by Jose Quivos, Jose Mendez, Jose Armiros, and Polomo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1870-12-08

A contract between Jose Leon, a Chinese settler, and Jose Quintera. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1870

A contract between Zhu Nam, a Chinese settler, and Tuton y Hijo and agents of La Alianza. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Zhu Nam did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Tuton y Hijo. Also features contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1870

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case. The bishop of Matanzas supports that companies should not pay for burials because it is a church job.

Created Date
1868-07-09

A contract between Higinio Crispin, a Chinese immigrant, and Vicente Vega. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Higinio was originally from Canton. Noted Higinio completed a contract with Jacinto Larrinago previously. Signed by Vicente Vega and Higinio.

Created Date
1868-05-27