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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.


A cedula, or identity card, of a Chinese settler, Pablo. He moved from China to Cardenas to work as an indentured servant and was hired by Calarraga. 1865

Created Date
1864

A complaint filed by Francisco Orta in the name of three Chinese settlers, Francisco, Manuel, and Pablo concerning their contracts.

Created Date
1861

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 Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Dolores Reynaldos. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Dolores Reynaldos and Pablo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1871-10-05

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 Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Alejandro Duhaidis. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Pablo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by two witnesses, Alejandro Duhaidis, and the governor.

Created Date
1869

A contract between Pablo, a Chinese settler, and Engenio de Mora. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirement of both the employee and the employer. Pablo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Miguel.

Created Date
1862

Certifies that Pablo, a Chinese settler, completed an two-year-contract with his employer, Juan Nepom Ortega.

Created Date
1865-12-16

Death certificate for Pablo, a Chinese immigrant. He died in the Hospital de Caridad de San Felipe from lung problems.

Created Date
1874

An identity card, or cedula, for Pablo, originally from Canton. Pablo was working for the railroad in Urbana.

Created Date
1866-12-25