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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.


This is a second work contract that was shared between Antonio- a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Martin de Cardenas y Layas. Prior to entering this agreement, Antonio was being held in the municipal deposit of the capital; according to the fourth and fifth articles in the contract, and it is possible that he was required to enter this contract as a punishment for past transgressions against his owner. The length of this contract was for six months. Signed in Chinese.

This is the second contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas for the period of six months. This contract is undated and 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 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 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

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