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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 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 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 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

65 Chinese settlers were hired as fieldworkers. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Sr. Marques de Almendares. These workers were hired to work in the fields in the cities of Colon and Guines.

Created Date
1861-05-24

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

Created Date
1866

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

Created Date
1861

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 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 the first contract between Napoleon, a Chinese settler, and Juan Smith, his owner for the term of one year of work in Colon.

Created Date
1867

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

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

A contract between Lomas, a Chinese settler, and Julian Arango. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Julian Arango, and Lomas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Anselmo, a Chinese settler and Jose Romero. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor of Colon, Joaquin, and Anselmo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

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

Created Date
1866

A contract between Felix, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez y Rochet. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Felix completed a contract with Jose Gomez previously. Felix did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Gomez.

Created Date
1866

This is a contract between Jou, a Chinese settler, and Tomas Oliva in 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

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 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 the first labor contract that between a Chinese settler named Eleuterio, also known as Santiago, and his owner, Don Juan. The term of the contract was for one year. This document is signed by the governor of Colon, Don Juan and Eleuterio. 1867.

Created Date
1867-01-06

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

Created Date
1866

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

A contract between Jose Tomas, a Chinese immigrant, and Juan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Jose Tomas completed a contract previously. Contract signed by Juan, the governor, and Jose Tomas. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

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

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 six workers from China to work in the countryside for a sugar factory, Aguedita.

Created Date
1864-07-06

Contract between Gavino, a Chinese settler, and Luis de Alta. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Gavino completed a contract with Sr. Domingo previously. Gavino did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Domingo Sandina and Luis de Alta.

Created Date
1866-05-20

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

Created Date
1864-06-06

A contracts between Vidal, 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 Vidal, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866