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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
1860 1873


A contract between Fernando, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Cairo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Junio completed a contract with Domingo Morales previously. Signed by two witnesses, the governor, and the new owner. Sagua de Grande.

Created Date
1868-03-20

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1864-06-05

Records for the ship Luisita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Luisita brought three workers from China to work for Fosca y Araoz in Sagua la Grande.

Created Date
1864-06-09

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Vasco de Gama brought Chinese settlers to work in the countryside.

Created Date
1864-06-30

Records of new Chinese settlers who arrived in Cuba ill. They disembarked from the ship and were treated at the Principle "Depot." Only their names are listed.

Created Date
1872-08-18

Contract between Turbino, a Chinese settler, and Ramon and Carlos. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Turbino completed a contract with Ramon and Carlos previously. Turbino did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Manuel Chino and Juan Alara.

Created Date
1868

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1864-06-05

6 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They landed in Cuba in the port of Matanzas and were housed in the Depot. These workers were hired to work for an unnamed employer.

Created Date
1872-09-18

Records of business deals between Troncaso, Bustamanta y Co and other companies, specifically relating to the contracting of Chinese workers or moving settlers from the employment of one company to another. Many of these settlers were between 19 and 40 years of age.

Created Date
1860

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

A contract between Enrique, a Chinese settler, and Juan, a Cuban landowner. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Juan noted that Enrique completed a contract with Miguel Tabra previously. Juan was originally from Canton. Contract signed by Juan, Juan Gonzales, Carlos Gonzales. Signed by the settler in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-05-20

A contract between Primo, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Cono. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Manuel Cono noted that Primo completed a contract with D. Luis previously. Primo was originally from Amoy. Primo did not negotiation or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Contract signed by Manuel Chao and Manuel Cono, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-06-12

A contract between Domingo, a Chinese settler, and Pedro J. Garcia. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Domingo completed a contract with Pedro J. Garcia previously. Contract signed by Pedro J. Garcia, Domingo, and the governor. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Carlos, a Chinese immigrant and Jose Oteza. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Contract signed by Jose Manuel Gonzales, Carlos, and the governor.

Created Date
1868

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

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

This is the first contract between Joaquin, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Carrera for the period of one year. 1860.

Created Date
1860

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 Tadeo and Augustus de Sagua, a Chinese landlord. The term of the contract was for one year. It was signed by the governor of Cuba, Augustus de Sagua, and Tadeo. Signed in Chinese by Tadeo.

Created Date
1868-05-26

Records for the ship Mina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza. On this trip, the Mina brought settlers from China to work for Jose D. Sanchez Benitez.

Created Date
1866-06-20

Records for the ship Oldenburg Ammerland, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Y. M. Zangroniz y Co. On this trip, the Oldenburg Ammerland brought fourteen from China to work for the sugar plantation "La Palma". 1866

Created Date
1866

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 Pantaleon, a Chinese settler, and Juan Lairo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Pantaleon completed a contract with Domingo Morales previously. Signed by two witnesses, the governor, and the new owner. Sagua de Grande.

Created Date
1868

This is a second labor contract that belonged to Meco- a Chinese settler, and his owner; the term of the contract was for one year. 1868.

Created Date
1868-05-30