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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
1860 1877


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 a second labor contract that was shared between Ciriabo, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Felipe Macau. Ciriabo was brought to Colon in Cuba to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Ciriabo's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-04-24

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Leonardo, and his owner, Peliona Fernandez; the term of the contract was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-12-30

A contract between Marcos, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Marcos did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1866-04-05

A contract between Matias, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1866-04-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Desiderio- a Chinese settler, and his owner, Jose Gomez; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Desiderio's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-04-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Federico, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Francisco Cairo. Federico was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Federico's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1868. Signed in Chinese by Federico.

Created Date
1868-03-28

A contract between Melitin, a Chinese settler, and la Compania de Caminos de Hierro. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Melitin completed a contract previously. Signed by Manuel Barque and Melitin, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1869

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

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

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler, Aristoteles, and la Empresa del ferro carril, the railroad company; the term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-05-30

A contract between Cecilio, a Chinese settler, and D. Jose Garcia. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Joaquin de Gonzalez, the governor, and Cecilio, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
亞, 和
Created Date
1866-05-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Emeterio Jaugi, and his owner, Gabriel Ferra; the term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-08-22

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Filomeno, and his owner, Peliona Fernandez; the term of the contract was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-12-20

This is the first labor contract that belonged to a Chinese settler named Benigno, and his owner, Ramon Felipe. Benigno was brought from Soltero to Cuba to work as an indentured servant. The term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-07-30

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 Jose, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Luis de Alda. He was brought to Cuba to serve as an indentured servants and the term of the contract was for six months. Details regarding Jose's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-05-20

This is a second labor contract that was shared between El Chuman- a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Paulino Ligarreta; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding El Chuman's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-07-08

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Francisco- a Chinese settler, and a Cuban landlord named D. Pedro L. Garcia; the contract term, as specified within the contract, was for one year. 1968. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-06-28

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Celestino, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Pablo Momilo; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Celestino's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-06-28

This is a second labor contract between a Chinese settler named Agapito, and his owner, another Chinese settler, named Pedro Delgado. The term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed by the governor of Cuba and in Chinese by Agapito and Pedro Delgado.

Created Date
1868-09-14

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Constantino, a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Ludres Valle. Valle was a Chinese landlord. The term of the contract was for one year. 1868. This document is signed by the governor of Cuba and signed in Chinese by Ludres Valle and Constantino.

Created Date
1868-12-05

A contract between Lan Tazar, a Chinese settler, and Ricardo Ferrero. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Lan Tazar completed a contract with another owner previously. Signed by the governor of Matanzas, Ricardo Ferrero, and Lan Tazar, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1864-03-10

This is a second work contract that was shared between Antonio- a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Martin de Cardenas y Layas. Prior to entering this agreement, Antonio was being held in the municipal deposit of the capital; according to the fourth and fifth articles in the contract, and it is possible that he was required to enter this contract as a punishment for past transgressions against his owner. The length of this contract was for six months. Signed in Chinese.

A contract between Le Chan, a Chinese settler, and Domingo. The contract was to last an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Le Chan had completed a contract with Domingo previously. Signed by Domingo, the governor of Matanzas, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1864-03-30

A contract between Baltasar, a Chinese settler, and Tomas M. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Baltasar completed a contract with Manuel Pereda previously. Signed by Tomas M., two witnesses and the governor of Cuba.

Created Date
1862

A contract between Sebastiano, a Chinese settler, and Maximo Mora. The contract was to last for three months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Sebastiano completed a contract with Maximo Mora previously. Sebastiano was originally from Tokien. Signed by Maximo Mora and Sebastiano, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Sebastian, a Chinese settler, and the Company of the Urban Railroad (Ferrocarril Urbano). The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Sebastian was originally from Canton. Signed by Franco Ortega and Sebastian, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865

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

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Vila y Terrer. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Ricardo completed a contract with Ramon Vila y Terrer previously. Signed by Ramon Vila y Terrer and Ricardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861

This is a second contract signed on behalf of Felis, a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to do contractual work for one year. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-06-18

A contract between Roque, a Chinese settler, and Los Tres Dehoques Vidal y Company. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Vidal and Roque, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865-06-02

A contract between Pedro, a Chinese settler, and Jose Romano. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Pedro completed a contract previously with Ingenio S Carlos. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Jose Romano and Pedro, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-05-06

Felix, a Chinese settler, completed a contract with San Martin, a sugar factory, under Benitez Siron y Co and was seeking to sign a new labor contract with his original owner. His owner agreed to sign a new one.

Created Date
1867-08-22

This is a labor contract signed by Jobita, a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to work for a new owner for one year. This contract was issued between Jobita and his new owner after he completed an initial labor contract with another owner. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1877-05-05

A contract between Suno, a Chinese settler, and Francisco R. Gleao. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Signed by Carlos Hernandez and Suno, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-05-20

A contract between Vicente Vang Acun, a Chinese settler, and Joaquin Pedroso. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Joaquin Pedroso y Veritia and Vicente Vang Acun, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-08-24

A between Leonardo, a Chinese settler, in and la Gran Azucareria. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Pedro Ibarra and Leonardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-06-10

A contract between Alfonso, a Chinese settler, and Eugenio Remeau. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Eugenio Remeau and Alfonso, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
周, 帶
Created Date
1868-02-10

A labor contract between Claudio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Morales. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jose Morales and Claudio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1863-04-23

A contract between Carlos Lo Agou, a Chinese settler, and Antonio Marin. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Carlos was required to enter into this contract to correct his deficiencies in his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient. Signed by Antonio Marin and Carlos, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1862

A contract between Adan, a Chinese settler, and Juan Calisto Oxamendi. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Juan Calisto Oxamendi and Adan, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1877-09-16

A contract between Salvador, 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. Signed by Jose Ruiz and Salvador, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865-04-28

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez Mezodio. The contract was to last for two and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Vicente completed a contract with Jose Sanchez Mezodio previously. Signed by Jose Sanchez Mezodio and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-03

A contract between Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Dolores Reynaldos. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Dolores Reynaldos and Pablo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1871-10-05

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 Jose, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes thatJose was required to enter this contract to correct his deficiencies in his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Dionisio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Dionisio was required to enter this contract to correct his deficiencies his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient. Signed by Jose Sanchez and Dionisio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-10

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Martin de Cardenas y Layas and Jose, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Octavio, a Chinese settler, and la Compania de Caminos de hierro de la Habana, a Cuban company. A contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Manuel Roque and Octavio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867