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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
1832 1957


A contract between Fang-Achat, a Chinese settler, and L. Miguel Gonzalez. The contract does not state how long it was supposed to last, but it lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Contract signed by L. Miguel Gonzalez and two others, but not the settler. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
鄧, 七

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Vila y Terrer. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Ramon Vila y Terrer and Ricardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1869

A contract between, Sim Cheng Cristobal, a Chinese settler, and the agent of Ignacio Fernandez de Castro. 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 MacKay, the agent, and Cristobal, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
林, 清
Created Date
1854-03-06

A contract between Mariano, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio F. de Castro. 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 Ignacio F. de Castro and Mariano, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1855-02-02

A contract between Lin-Whay Fernando, a Chinese settler, and the agent for Ignacio F. de Castro. 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 Ignacio F. de Castro and Lin- Way Fernando, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1855-06-20

A contract between Narceso, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Signed by Narceso, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

A contract between Justino Campbell and the government of Cuba. The contract granted Justino Campbell the right to recruit Chinese settlers to come to Cuba to work. Campbell was permitted to use the ship Hoggersbank under Captain Achenback.

Created Date
1857-03-30

A contract between Justino Campbell and the government of Cuba. The contract granted Justino Campbell the right to recruit Chinese settlers to come to Cuba to work. Campbell was permitted to use the ship Hoggersbank under Captain Achenback.

Created Date
1866-12-09

A contract between Ly-Avom, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran. 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 A. R. Ferran, Manuel Antonio de Ganza, and Ly-Avom, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-06-18

A contract between Ly Kee or Ventura, a Chinese settler, and Rafael R. Torices and A. R. Ferran. 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 A. R. Ferran and Ly Kee, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-04-28

A contract between Melitin, a Chinese settler, and la Compania de Caminos de Hierro. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Melitin completed a contract previously. Signed by Manuel Barque and Melitin, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1869

A contract between Jau Seoul, a Chinese settler, and Ygnacio Fernandez de Castro. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Pablo Paneide. Signed by Jau Seoul, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1855-03-20

A contract between Mauricio, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Filipe de Mena. Signed by A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, and Mauricio, who signed in Chinese. Also the contract is featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1858-03-03

A labor contract between Claudio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Morales. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jose Morales and Claudio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1863-04-23

A contract between Koanhy, a Chinese settler, and Jose Maria Morales. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of tie and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Yana Amero and Koanhy, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
官, 起
Created Date
1857-03-20

A contract between Carlos Lo Agou, a Chinese settler, and Antonio Marin. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Carlos was required to enter into this contract to correct his deficiencies in his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient. Signed by Antonio Marin and Carlos, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1862

A contract between Damian, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Laya. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Martin de Cardenas and Damian, who signed in Chinese.

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and D. Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Renewal of Vicente's initial labor contract of six months. Signed by Martin de Cardenas y Layas and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Claudio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Morales. The contract was to last for six years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jose Morales and Claudio, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
陳有
Created Date
1862-04-23

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez Mezodio. The contract was to last for two and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Vicente completed a contract with Jose Sanchez Mezodio previously. Signed by Jose Sanchez Mezodio and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-03

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes thatJose was required to enter this contract to correct his deficiencies in his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Dionisio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Dionisio was required to enter this contract to correct his deficiencies his previous work contracts, and for being disobedient. Signed by Jose Sanchez and Dionisio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-10

A contract between, Vong Ahony, a Chinese settler and Torices y Co. Notes the contract was transferred to Carmen Segueira. Vong Ahony did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by L. Manuel and Jose.

Created Date
1861-06-14

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Martin de Cardenas y Layas and Jose, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Octavio, a Chinese settler, and la Compania de Caminos de hierro de la Habana, a Cuban company. A contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Manuel Roque and Octavio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

A contract between Afno, a Chinese settler, and F. Valdez. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Jose Gomez. Afno did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by H. Velez.

Created Date
1858-01-18

This is a first labor contract that was signed by Aman- a Chinese settler, in which he agreed to relocate to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. Originally signed 1855. El Bircantin Paquita was the agent for the original contract. On the second page, Julian a Pulueta states that this contract was transferred to Ramon de Gueregiaga for reasons unstated on April 18, 1856.

Created Date
1855-12-07

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Paulino- a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas. In this contract, Paulino renewed a previous labor contract with Martin for six months. No date was included in the contract.

Created Date
1860

A contract between Vong Cari, a Chinese settler, and Tanco Armero, the agent for Limbillo, Montalvo, y Co. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Vong Cari did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by N. Tanco Armero and J. de Agustin.

Created Date
1867-09-30

A contract between Zuan-Tae, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio Fernandes de Castro. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Zuan-Tae did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Nicario Canete y Moral. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1863-09-22

A contract between Dionisio, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Jose Sanchez and Dionisio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-10

A contract between Jacinto, a Chinese settler, and Jose Olauo. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Jose Olauo wrote a letter of good conduct for a future employer. Signed by Jose Olauo and Jacinto, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1875-10-26

A contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Francisco San Varilla. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Ramon was originally from Macao. Ramon did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Francisco San Varilla and the governor of Havana.

Created Date
1869-11-15

A contract between Amoy, a Chinese settler, and F Velez. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Amoy's labor contract had been transferred between various owners throughout the first year of his term. Amoy did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Contributors
亞梅
Created Date
1858-01-18

This is a first labor contract that was signed by a young, Chinese settler named Yong Wong, in which he agreed to leave China and relocate to Cuba where he would be required to work as an indentured servant for eight years. On the second page, Rafael R. Torices states that the contract was transferred to Juan Peiral on December 1, 1856 and then again to José Cria on January 4 of an unknown year. Originally signed 1856.

Contributors
楊, 王
Created Date
1856-04-17

A contract between Chung, a Chinese settler, and R. Calderon, an agent for La Alianza. La Alianza brought Chung from China to Cuba to work. He was to be hired by another employer upon arrival.

Contributors
鍾, 大嬌
Created Date
1867

A contract between Ju Seu, a Chinese settler, and R. Calderon, agent of La Alianza. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. He was to be hired by another employer upon arrival. Contracted featured in Chinese.

Contributors
陶, 平
Created Date
1863

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Vila y Terrer. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Ricardo completed a contract with Ramon Vila y Terrer previously. Signed by Ramon Vila y Terrer and Ricardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861

A contract between Wan, a Chinese settler, and Joaquin Pedroso y Echeverra, Luis Pedroso and Jose Maria Morales. The contract was signed to bring Wan from China to Cuba to work. Wan was contracted in Havana by Merced Casanova, which was then transferred to Joaquin de Soto and Nicolas Garcia Valdez. Signed by Wan in Chinese.

Created Date
1857

A contract between Li Afi, a Chinese settler, and Selles Cruellas and Company. The contract was to last for five years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that this contract was later transferred to Marcel Fremeda in Havana. Signed by the governor, two witnesses, and Selles Cruellas.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Juan, a Chinese settler and Luis Alonso. The contract allowed Luis Alonso to bring Juan from China to Cuba to work. Juan was contracted by an employer upon arrival in Havana, a contract that lasted for two years.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Leong Chowin, 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. Leong Chowin did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose A. de Orbeta and B. Solares.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Mae Asan or Jose Yris, a Chinese settler, and the agent of Ignacio Fernandez de Castro. The contract was to last for a disclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Yris was to be brought aboard to Viajante. He was originally from Chen-Chuin. The contract was later transferred to Manuel B. a Pereda in Havana. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1859-04-02

A contract between Justino Campbell and the government of Cuba. The contract granted Justino Campbell the right to recruit Chinese settlers to come to Cuba to work. Campbell was permitted to use the ship Hoggersbank under Captain Achenback.

Created Date
1857-03-30

A contract between Apony, a Chinese settler and Carlo Flotard, an agent for the company "Campbell and Caro." Campbell and Caro was to bring Apony from China to Cuba to work and the contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Apony was later contracted upon arrival in Havana by J. P. Marques. Contract issued in Macao. Also features contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1857

A blank contract for employees working with agents Mariano del Pielago and Merino Gelledo. It has two language versions: Spanish and Chinese. It indicates the instructions that the employees should follow.

Certifies that Lee, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer. He was eventually granted permanent residency after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1861-06-27

Certifies that Cayetano, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Luis Suseni.

Created Date
1859

Justino Campbell transferred his contracts with several Chinese settlers in Cardenas and Matanzas to the Superior Civil Government so that these workers may obtain their cedulas or personal identity cards.

Created Date
1861-05-08

This is a second labor contract that belonged to Severo- a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Francisco Gandarilla. The purpose of this second contract was to renew and extend Severo's original eight year labor contract with Gandarilla for six months. 1869.

Created Date
1869-11-15