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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.


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

Created Date
1867

This is a contract between Antonio, a Chinese settler, and J. Smith for the term of one year. 1861. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861

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 contract between Bartolo, a Chinese settler, and his owner in Colon. 1866.

Created Date
1866

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

A contracts between Julian, a Chinese settler, and Pedro. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Pedro and Julian, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

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

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 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 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