Skip to main content

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.


Series
  • Chinese Immigrants in Cuba Labor Series
Date Range
1860 1877


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

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 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 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 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 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 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 Felix, a Chinese settler, and Esteban Parody. The contract was to last for three years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Felix did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Esteban Pasos, Fernando, and Jose Herman.

Created Date
1862-02-10

A contract between Gil, a Chinese settler, and D. Jose Varela. The contract was to last for six year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Gil completed a contract with D. Jose Varela previously. Signed by Jose Varela and Gil, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1862-04-22

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 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

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 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 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 Felis, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Ibarra. The contract was to last for one year and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Felis did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1864-06-18

A between Alanzo Jeun, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Moreno. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Ramon Moreno, the governor of Cuba, and Alazno Jeun, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1864-10-24

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

Created Date
1865-04-28

A contract between Roque, a Chinese settler, and Los Tres Dehoques Vidal y Company. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Vidal and Roque, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865-06-02

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 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

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 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 Marcos, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Marcos did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1866-04-05

A contract between Matias, a Chinese settler, and Jose Gomez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer.

Created Date
1866-04-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Desiderio- a Chinese settler, and his owner, Jose Gomez; the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Desiderio's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-04-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Ciriabo, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Felipe Macau. Ciriabo was brought to Colon in Cuba to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year. Details regarding Ciriabo's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-04-24

A contract between Cecilio, a Chinese settler, and D. Jose Garcia. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Joaquin de Gonzalez, the governor, and Cecilio, who signed in Chinese.

Contributors
亞, 和
Created Date
1866-05-06

A contract between Pedro, a Chinese settler, and Jose Romano. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Pedro completed a contract previously with Ingenio S Carlos. Signed by the governor of Cuba, Jose Romano and Pedro, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-05-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Jose, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Luis de Alda. He was brought to Cuba to serve as an indentured servants and the term of the contract was for six months. Details regarding Jose's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-05-20

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Filomeno, and his owner, Peliona Fernandez; the term of the contract was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-12-20

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Leonardo, and his owner, Peliona Fernandez; the term of the contract was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866-12-30

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

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Paris, a Chinese settler, and his owners, los Herederos. Paris was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for six months. Details regarding Paris's wage, food, clothes, and work hours were stipulated in the document. 1867. This is signed by the governor, the Herederos brothers, and by Paris in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-05

This is a second labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler and his owner, Ramon; the term of the contract was for one year. 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-06

This is a second labor contract that was shared between Sabel, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Ramon Recio de Oguendo. Sabel was brought to Cuba from China to serve as an indentured servant and the term of the contract was for one year, in which Sabel was hired to do fieldwork. Details regarding Sabel's wage, food, and clothes that would be provided to him by Ramon Recio de Oguendo as well as the work hours required of him were stipulated in the document. 1867. Signed the governor, Ramon Recio de Oguendo, and in Chinese by Sabel,.

Created Date
1867-01-06

A contract between Nicolas, a Chinese settler, and Jose Marrera. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Nicolas was brought from China to Cuba to work as an indentured servant and was contracted to work as a tobacconist for Marrera's tobacco shop. Signed by Marrera and Nicolas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-06

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

This is a second work contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Figaro, and a Cuban landlord, Carlos Aomingues; the term of the contract was for six months. 1867. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-01-27

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 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

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 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 between Leonardo, a Chinese settler, in and la Gran Azucareria. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Pedro Ibarra and Leonardo, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-06-10

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