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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.

Records for the ship Serafina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought several settlers from China to work. Signed by Tomas.

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Records of new Chinese settlers who arrived in Cuba ill. They disembarked from the ship and were treated at the Principle "Depot." Only their names are listed.

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6 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They landed in Cuba in the port of Matanzas and were housed in the Depot. These workers were hired to work for an unnamed employer.

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An identity card, or cedilla, for Tomas. Tomas was forty-six years old when this card was issued. Tomas was employed by Pedro Fernandez.

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This is a death certificate that was issued for Tomasm a free Chinese settler, who died at the Hospital de Caridad de San Felipe y Santiago. The reason is not explained. Tomas was 53 at the time of his death, and was admitted into the hospital on October 1, 1874. His body was buried in the general cemetery near the hospital on October 11.

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Records for the ship Kate Hooper, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Ferran y Dupierris and Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Kate Hooper brought six settlers from China to work in the fields.

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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.

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