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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
1855 1871


Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1868-05-09

Lee, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with Roque de Lara. Lara recommended that Lee be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer. The letter also states that Lee always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1861

Lee, a Chinese settler, fulfilled an eight year contract with Agustin. Agustin recommended that Lee be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer, fulfilling the legal requirements for permanent residency. The letter also states that Lee always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1861-06-27

Lee, a Chinese settler, fulfilled an eight year contract with Roque de Lara. Lara recommended that Lee be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer, fulfilling the legal requirements for permanent residency. The letter also states that Lee always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1861

List of workers who were recently hired by various employers. It lists the name of the employer or company, the name of the settler and their personal details.

Created Date
1862

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1867-10-14

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1867-12-16

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case. The bishop of Matanzas supports that companies should not pay for burials because it is a church job.

Created Date
1868-07-09

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal

Created Date
1860-08-24

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-02-04