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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.


Ventura, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with various employers including Pedro Silvestre, Pedro Hernandez and Juom Juan. They recommended that Ventura 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 Ventura always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1866-04-25

Certifies that Ventura Lici Kie, a Chinese settler, completed a contract with his employer, La Panchita. He was contracted soon after with Jose Ruiz.

Created Date
1866-04-16

A contract between Ventura, a Chinese settler, and Jose Ruiz. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Ventura completed a contract with La Panchita previously. Signed by Jose Ruiz and Ventura, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

Certifies that Ventura, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Agustin Ferran.

Created Date
1866

Certifies that Ventura and Indaluis, two Chinese settlers, completed contracts with their employer, La Panchita under Agustin R. Ferran.

Created Date
1865-04-29

Certifies that Ventura, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Agustin R. Ferran.

Created Date
1865-04-28

A contract between Ly Kee or Ventura, a Chinese settler, and Rafael R. Torices and A. R. Ferran. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by A. R. Ferran and Ly Kee, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-04-28