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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
1860 1879


Contracts of Lorenzo, a Chinese settler and his employer, Juan Moreno. Each contract was to last for six months and each lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Lorenzo had completed a previous contract with Juan Moreno not included in this document. Signed by Alejandro, Juan Moreno, and Jose Jorge.

Created Date
1879

This contract is between Pedro, a Chinese settler, and Arcuna. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Pedro did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1870-01-15

A contract between Justo, a Chinese immigrant, and Gaspar Vinals. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Justo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Lopes Francas, Manuel de la Fuente, and Gaspar Vinals.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Juan Hernandez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Noted that Pablo completed a contract with Juan Hernandez previously. Pablo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Contract signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Melanio, a Chinese settler, and Juan Poey. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Melanio completed a contract with Juan Poey previously. Melanio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Fernando, a Chinese settler, and Jose de la Espinoza. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Noted that Fernando completed a contract with Jose de la Espinoza previously. Signed by Enrique Morales.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Achung, a Chinese settler, and Juan Poey. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Notes that Achung completed this contract and was granted a cedula or identity card a few years later. Achung did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Fabian, a Chinese settler, and Juan Laudaluca. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Fabian completed a contract with Domingo y Gener previously. Fabian did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Juan de Laudalua.

Created Date
1877

A contract between Judas, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Bello. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Judas completed a contract with Manuel Bello previously. Signed by Manuel Bello, Jose Lopez Francais, and Judas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1874

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Pablo or Juy Leng- a Chinese settler, and Gavino Hernandez- his new owner. The document was written and signed upon the completion of Pablo's first eight year contract with another owner. The term of this labor contract was for two years. Gavino Hernandez wrote on the back of the contract that Pablo seemed to be performing well in his duties. 1863. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1863-06-13

A contract between Camilo, a Chinese settler, and Ricardo Alfonso. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Camila completed a contract with Ricardo Alfonso previously. Signed by Ricardo Alfonso, the Administrator, Señor Ramos, and Camilo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1877-08-27

A contract between Patricio, a Chinese settler, and Joaquin Ruiz. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Patricio completed a contract with Roque Corral previously. Signed by Joaquin Ruiz and Patricio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1870-05-30

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 Juan, a Chinese settler, and Julian Garcia. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. He was originally from Canton. Noted he completed a contract with Jose Lopez Francesa previously. Juan did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Julian Garcia, the governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1863-08-27

A contract between Yldefonio, a Chinese settler, and Pedro Guibas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Yldefonio was originally from Macao. Yldefonio did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Lopez Francas, Guillermo Gomez, and Pedro Luibus.

Created Date
1865-07-05

A contract between Romualdo, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Garcia Rey. Notes that Romulado completed a contract with Francisco Garcia Rey previously. Romulado did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Francisco Garcia Rey

Created Date
1870-10-16

A contract between Joaquin, a Chinese settler, and Antonio Fernandez. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1863-02-11

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Gil. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted Jose was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1865-04-26

A contract between Marcelo, a Chinese settler, and Jose Landalica. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1867-02-17

A contract between Afat, a Chinese settler and Domingo E. Maelan. he contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Afat did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Domingo E. Maelan, the governor of Cuba, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1864

A contract between Blas, a Chinese settler, and Jose Basquet. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Blas completed a contract with Jose Basquet previously. Blas did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor, two witnesses, and Jose Basquet.

Created Date
1871-05-06

A contract between Carlos, a Chinese settler, and Juan Lanalica. he contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Carlos did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by the governor, Juan Lanalica, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1867-02-17

This is a second labor contract that belonged to a Chinese settler named Leonio, and his owner, Felicito Perez; the term of this contract was for six months. 1867.

Created Date
1867-06-19

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Faustino- a Chinese settler, and his owner, Jose Serrate; the term of the contract was not specified. 1867.

Created Date
1867-06-13

A contract between Tomas, a Chinese settler, and Narciso Gelado. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Tomas did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Narciso Gelado, the governor of Matanzas, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1867-09-21

A contract between Laureano, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Aballi. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Laureano completed a contract with Francisco Aballi previously. Laureano did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Antonio Laucinca and Antonio Liney.

Created Date
1868-10-15

A contract between Julian, a Chinese settler, and Valentin de la Villa. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Julian did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Manuel, Valentin de la Villa, Jose Lope Francas, Guillermo Manuel Gomez.

Created Date
1865-07-22

A contract between Jose, a Chinese settler, and Julian Maresma. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Jose did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Lopez Francas, Guillermo Gomez, Julian Maresma.

Created Date
1865-07-19

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Laureano- a Chinese settler, and his owner Francisco Kalli; the term of the contract was for one year. 1867.

Created Date
1867-10-03

A contract between Homobono, a Chinese settler, and Juan Serrate. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Homobono completed a contract with Angel previously.

Created Date
1867-06-13

This is the first labor contract between Sang, otherwise known as Faustino, a Chinese settler, and his new owner, Jose Serrate in Matanzas. This contract was issued after Faustino completed a separate labor contract with another owner. The contract was for one year and his salary was twelve pesos and seventy-five cents. At the bottom, the contract is signed by Jose Serrate, the governor of Matanzas, and two witnesses, but not Faustino himself.

Created Date
1867-06-13

A contract between Joaquin, a Chinese settler, and Domingo E. Madan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted Joaquin completed a contract with a different employer previously.

Created Date
1868-04-14

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

Created Date
1867-02-17

A contract between a Chinese settler and Jose de Cruz Torrez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1864-07

A contract between Luis Esteban, a Chinese settler, and Santiago. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Luis Esteban completed a contract with Santiago previously. Luis Esteban did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. This is signed by the governor, Santiago, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1867-01-20

A contract between Facundo, a Chinese settler, and Julian Maresma. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1865-07-19

A contract between Andres, a Chinese settler, and Juan Sanduala. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Andres completed a contract with Juan Sanduala previously.

Created Date
1867-02-17

A contract between Lan Tazar, a Chinese settler, and Ricardo Ferrero. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Lan Tazar completed a contract with another owner previously. Signed by the governor of Matanzas, Ricardo Ferrero, and Lan Tazar, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1864-03-10

A contract between Le Chan, a Chinese settler, and Domingo. The contract was to last an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Le Chan had completed a contract with Domingo previously. Signed by Domingo, the governor of Matanzas, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1864-03-30

A contract between Baltasar, a Chinese settler, and Tomas M. The contract was to last for four years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Baltasar completed a contract with Manuel Pereda previously. Signed by Tomas M., two witnesses and the governor of Cuba.

Created Date
1862

A contract between Sebastiano, a Chinese settler, and Maximo Mora. The contract was to last for three months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Sebastiano completed a contract with Maximo Mora previously. Sebastiano was originally from Tokien. Signed by Maximo Mora and Sebastiano, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Sebastian, a Chinese settler, and the Company of the Urban Railroad (Ferrocarril Urbano). The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Sebastian was originally from Canton. Signed by Franco Ortega and Sebastian, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Simon, a Chinese settler, and Miguel. The contract was to last for eight months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Simon completed a contract with the Sugar Refinery del Carmen previously. Signed by Miguel and Suireon.

Created Date
1865

Certifies that Justo, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Jose de Cannabaco who owned a business.

Created Date
1860

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

Created Date
1865

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 was shared between Blas, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Jose Maria Bosquet y Cara. Blas was brought from China to Cuba to work as an indentured servant and the length of the contract was for two years. This is signed by the governor, Jose Maria Bosquet y Cara, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1871-05-06

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the Company Asiatica, Torices Puente y Co, and Ferran y Duperris. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought settlers from China to work for the railroad in Matanzas.

Created Date
1861

Several Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Leopoldo Cateaux under contract with Juan Puey. These workers were hired to work in Matanzas.

Created Date
1863-03-20

This is a list of sixty Chinese settlers whose eight year labor contracts were transferred to Banco de San Carlos upon their arrival in Havana. The settlers were transported to Cuba aboard the Spanish ship "Emigrante", and they were required to work as indentured servants for eight years. These settlers were hired by the bank to do fieldwork in Matanzas, Cuba. 1865.

Created Date
1865-03-15