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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.


Language
Date Range
1858 1899


This is a series of reports files by the mayor of Guanabacoa concerning the treatment of Chinese settlers in Cuba, including punishment for crimes and the death penalty.

A letter from the Consul General of China in Havana to Chang Yin Jung, the mayor of Matanzas. It details how the Consul General congratulates him on his recent appointment to the position of mayor.

Created Date
1899

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Adolfo Abreu. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884-12-18

This is a Certificate of Nationality that belonged to Adrian Achao- a Chinese settler. The certificate served as a record indicating that Adrian had been registered at the Consulate General of China in Cuba as a subject of the Emperor of China. According to the document, at the time it was issued Adrian was 45 years old, single, a laborer, and considered a non-resident. He was from Canton in China, and lived in Matanzas in Cuba. 1884.

Created Date
1884-12-18

This is a Cuban Certificate of Nationality that belonged to Camilo Chong. He was originally from Canton and is forty years old. He lived in Matanzas. 1884.

Created Date
1884-12-13

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Pedro Duarte. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884-12-13

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Ambrosio Achin. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884-12-13

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Manuel Aton. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884-12-10

This is a Certificate of Nationality that belonged to Adrian Achao- a Chinese settler. The certificate served as a record indicating that Adrian had been registered at the Consulate General of China in Cuba as a subject of the Emperor of China. According to the document, at the time it was issued Adrian was 45 years old, single, a laborer, and considered a non-resident. He was from Canton in China, and lived in Matanzas in Cuba. 1884.

Created Date
1884-12-10

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Andres Afat. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton, but lived in Matanzas.

Created Date
1884-12-09

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Francisco Argudin. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884-12-06

This is a Certificate of Nationality that belonged to Diego Achin- a Chinese settler. The certificate served as a record indicating that Diego had been registered at the Consulate General of China in Cuba as a subject of the Emperor of China. According to the document, at the time it was issued Diego was 41 years old, single, and considered a non-resident. He was from Canton in China, and lived in Matanzas in Cuba. 1884

Created Date
1884-12-06

The certificate of nationality for Liborio who was from Canton and moved to Soltero to be an indentured servant.

Created Date
1884

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Cirilo Torres. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Agustin Acosta. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1883-12-14

The cedula or identity card for Belen Anchin, a Chinese immigrant working in Cuba. She lived in the province of Matanzas, in the town of Cidra. Originally from Canton. This card lists Belen Anchin's current profession and place of residence.

Created Date
1882-04-09

An identity record or cedula for Jose Elias. He was originally from Canton. Jose was 43 years old when this card was issued.

Created Date
1881-10-03

An identity card, or cedula, for Higenio.

Created Date
1880-01-10

An identity card, or cedula, for Agustin Afon. Agustin was 33 years old when this card was issued.

Created Date
1880

An identity card, or cedula, for Santiago Auy, originally from Canton. He was 26 years old when this card was issued.

Created Date
1880

This is a Certificate of Nationality that belonged to Adolfo Abreu- a Chinese settler. The certificate served as a record indicating that Adolfo had been registered at the Consulate General of China in Cuba as a subject of the Emperor of China. According to the document, at the time it was issued Adolfo was 44 years old, single, a laborer, and considered a non-resident. He was from Canton in China, and lived in Matanzas in Cuba. Havana, 1884.

Created Date
1879-04-09

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

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 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 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

These are three fines were issued to three separate Chinese settlers for having violated some rule or for having committed some sort of penalty. Matanzas- 1874

Created Date
1874-08-12

An unnamed Chinese settler converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. They were originally from Canton. In their baptism, they offered their loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. Candido Santa Olalla oversaw the baptism of this settler in the parish church of San Carlos in Matanzas.

Created Date
1874

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

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.

Created Date
1872-09-18

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.

Created Date
1872-08-18

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

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

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

This is a money script for the payment of Chinese settlers for a total of one hundred and forty-three pesos.

Created Date
1871

Atay or Cayetano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1871

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 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

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

Created Date
1870-02-16

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

Payment records of Gonzales y Compania in Matanzas, detailing the total amount of money owed as payment to their employed Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1870

This document contains a record of payment made out an employer in order to pay his Chinese workers.

Created Date
1870

An identity record, or cedula, for Cayetano, a Chinese settler. Cayetano was thirty years old when this card was issued and worked for Luis Tapia.

Created Date
1869

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

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and the judge ruled that they did not have to pay for their worker's burial. Two Chinese settlers, Rafael and Benrem filed the charges.

Created Date
1868-08-19

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

Lucas, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1868