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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 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