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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.

This was a request written on the behalf of Eloy- a Chinese settler, who having just won 1,000 pesos in a lottery was seeking to buy out his eight year contract with D. Joaquin Garcia Anguerica for the 219 pesos needed to do so. The request spurred a lot of conversation between Spanish officials in Cuba about whether or not Eloy's request could legally be granted; there were concerns about his minor status and about some contradictions between articles 27 and 28 of the cedulas, and the seventh clause within the contracts. Ultimately, Eloy's request was not granted.

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