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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.


Document describes how Diego Jimenez met with some Chinese settlers to discuss their contracts. He explained how they needed to fulfill eight-year contracts with the same employer in order to apply for permanent residency under Cuban law. These settlers all claimed to have completed their eight-year contracts. Diego Jimenez investigated their employer Froncaso Bustamante y Co considering whether their employment practices were legal, especially considering sick or injured workers.

Created Date
1868-09-15

List of Chinese settlers who ran away from their owners and were later captured. After capture, they were held in the Municipal Slave Deposit in Santa Maria del Rosario. Their names, ages, and nationality are listed along with the dates of their escape and capture.

Created Date
1858-03-01

10 Chinese settlers were hired to work on public works. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Luisita under contract with la Alianza. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1864-04-10

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