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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
1858 1874


This is the first labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Leopoldo, and his owner, Felipe Macau, presumably a freed Chinese settler. Leopoldo had already completed a contract with Joaquin Tiago. He was brought from Canton to Cuba to work as an indentured servant in Soltero. The term of the contract with Don Felipe was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese by Leopoldo.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Judas, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Bello. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Judas completed a contract with Manuel Bello previously. Signed by Manuel Bello, Jose Lopez Francais, and Judas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1874

A contract between Vongcheong Lon, a Chinese settler, and R. Solares. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Vongcheong Lon was originally from Fayune. Also features contract in Chinese.

Contributors
黃, 昌龍
Created Date
1866

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Angel Garcia. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Ricardo was originally from Canton. Notes that Ricardo completed a contract with Joaquin Forcano previously.

Created Date
1867-11-26

A contract between Choy Hieng, a Chinese settler, and B. Solares. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Choy did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by B. Solares and Jose A. de Orbeta.

Contributors
蔡, 亞應
Created Date
1866-01-15

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Gil. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted Jose was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1865-04-26

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, Low Li Yang, a Chinese settler, and B. Solares. 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 B. Solares and Jose A. de Orbeta.

Created Date
1866

Certifies that Fernando, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Francisco Arrieta.

Created Date
1868-09-06

This is the second contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas for the period of six months. This contract is undated and signed in Chinese.