Mar 01, 2012 - Sale 2271

Sale 2271 - Lot 36

Price Realized: $ 3,360
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) CUBA--CHINESE COOLIE LABOR. Partially printed ship's manifest of 250 Chinese "coolie" laborers under contract for plantations in Cuba, their names and place of origin accomplished by hand * together with a partially printed individual contract in Chinese and Spanish for a coolie laborer, accomplished by hand. Two large folio leaves (41x34 cm), written in a neat cursive hand, and one single folio leaf, printed in Chinese and Spanish with a woodcut head-piece showing a Chinaman standing next to a Cuban (African) field worker. Macao, 6 November, 1857; 14 November, 1866

Additional Details

two rare contracts for chinese coolie labor. From 1847-1874 approximately 125,000 Chinese laborers were imported to Cuba. The inevitable abolition of African slavery created an entirely new and very profitable business, once again dominated by the British and the Portuguese. The former ran the actual business, while the Portuguese, with their colony in Macau supplied the bodies. The large list of 250 coolies is printed in Portuguese with an ink note at the top stating that they were to be shipped aboard the galley "Gica." One can only imagine the survival rate during the "Middle Passage" from Macao to Cuba, some 9000 miles. The distance from the coast of West Africa to Cuba is roughly half that. (See Evelyn Hu-Dehart "Chinese Coolie Labor in Cuba in the 19th Century: Free labor of Neoslavery," writing in the journal Contributions to Black Studies, 1994.)