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.


Language
Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
1854 1964


This is a request for a certificate of naturalization that was made by a Chinese settler named Agustin Cisneros. According to the handwritten request form (which begins on page six), Agustin had already been granted his carta de domicilio, or permanent residence card, five years prior to this request. The document also reveals that Agustin was married to a woman named Lorenza Pastor, had four children with his wife, had been baptized, and worked as a cook. The document proceeding the official request for naturalization is the death certificate of Lorenza Pastor, which was signed on September 14, 1871. The …

Created Date
1871-04-15

Two unnamed children, born from a Cuban and Chinese settler, were baptized in the city of Havana. There was debate over whether or not the parish church should record their baptisms in the book for those of European descent or in the book for minorities. Churches would use different books for Europeans, whites, and minorities.

Created Date
1864-04-29

Records of business deals of the Society of Bustamante y Froncaso, specifically relating to their hiring practices and how many companies would rehire or share their Chinese settlers. Also relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Some of these settlers produced false documents claiming to be older than they were. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860

Records of business deals of the Society of Bustamante y Froncaso, specifically relating to their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Some of these settlers produced false documents claiming to be older than they were. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal. Also relates other hiring practices and how many companies would rehire or share their Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1860

Records of business deals of the Society of Bustamante y Froncaso, specifically relating to their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal. Also relates other hiring practices and how many companies would rehire or share their Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1860

Records of business deals of Alejandro Lagargett and Joaquin Boldan, specifically relating to their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal. Also relates other hiring practices and how many companies would rehire or share their Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1860

Records of business deals between Francaso, Bustamanta y Co and other companies, specifically relating to their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal. Also relates other hiring practices and how many companies would rehire or share their Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1870

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-09-27

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal. The ages were left blank on their contracts.

Created Date
1860-10-07

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-12-06

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-12-29

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-10-04

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-02-04

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-12-06

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-12-29

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1854-03-24

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-09-07

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-12-06

Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-09-04

Describes the actions of the District Attorney in Havana to prosecute Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, who was prosecuted in relation to the illegal Chinese lottery, Chiffa.

Created Date
1886-04-12

Prosecution of a group of Chinese settlers for running an illegal lottery. Police Officer Pablo Delgado discovered the lottery and details those involved, including a settler named Damien.

Created Date
1886

Describes the actions of the District Attorney in Havana to prosecute Chinese settlers caught dealing in illegal Chinese lotteries, especially the lottery "Chiffa." Pedro Amador was prosecuted in relation to the Chiffa case.

Created Date
1886

This collection of documents pertains to the discovery of an illegal Chinese lottery in the home of a Chinese settler, and the ensuing investigation to determine the culprits and amass sufficient evidence against them to determine an appropriate punishment for the crime. An index was provided at the beginning of the packet to outline the various testimonies, minutes, evidence, and sentence included in the packet. Antonio Alli and Jose Alem were the two Chinese settlers who were charged with organizing the Chinese lottery and distributing the lottery ballots. The first document proceeding the index page is the testimony that was …

Created Date
1886-01-27

Records indicating that Chinese Consul in Havana gave the courts the paperwork of Jose Afa, a Chinese settler and permanent resident in Cuba, who was detained by police in connection to an illegal lottery. He was held in the royal jail in Havana.

Created Date
1886-03-27

Records indicating that Chinese Consul in Havana gave the courts the paperwork of Jose Afa, a Chinese settler and permanent resident in Cuba, who was detained by police in connection to an illegal lottery. Details the actions of the police and the court in their investigations.

Created Date
1886-03-26

Records indicating that Chinese Consul in Havana gave the courts the paperwork of Jose Afa, a Chinese settler and permanent resident in Cuba, who was detained by police in connection to an illegal lottery. Details the actions of the police and the court in their investigations.

Created Date
1886-03-26

Records indicating that Chinese Consul in Havana gave the courts the paperwork of Jose Afa, a Chinese settler and permanent resident in Cuba, who was detained by police in connection to an illegal lottery. Details the actions of the police and the court in their investigations.

Created Date
1886-03-26

Records indicating that Chinese Consul in Havana requested the paperwork of Jose Afa, a Chinese settler and permanent resident in Cuba, who was detained by police in connection to an illegal lottery.

Created Date
1886-03-30

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation into the records of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but was working in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

Created Date
1886

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation into the records of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but was working in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but lived in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

Created Date
1876

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886

A letter to the judge of the District of Prado concerning Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, as the judge investigated Amador's past records.

Created Date
1886-02-13

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro o Poncho, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. He ran away from his employer, was captured, and held in the Deposit of Runaways.

Created Date
1870-10-14

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro o Poncho, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. He ran away from his employer, was captured, and held in the Deposit of Runaways.

Created Date
1870-10-14

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 has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1868-05-09

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. Court officials could not find any record of previous criminal activity

Created Date
1886-01-30

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. Court officials could not find any record of previous criminal activity

Created Date
1886-02-01

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. Court officials could not find any record of previous criminal activity.

Created Date
1886-01-30

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. Court officials could not find any record of previous criminal activity.

Created Date
1886-01-30

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton. Court officials pulled records from the church books in Havana.

Created Date
1886-01-30

Records indicating that the courts requested paperwork and information on Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler, from the Chinese Consul in Havana. He was originally from Canton and worked in the countryside.

Created Date
1876-01-30

Records pertaining to a request by the courts to access paperwork and information from the Chinese Consul in Havana. The documents were then to be given to the attorney prosecuting the case. No details of the crime or the persons involved is given. The paperwork mentioned is also not included.

Created Date
1886-02-09

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but lived in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

Created Date
1886-01-30

Record pertaining to a judge's investigation of Pedro Amador, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Canton, but lived in Havana. The court certified that Pedro Amador's records did not contain any concerning contents.

Created Date
1886-01-30

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The court ruling does mention that many settlers are poor and that the parish has struggled to find resources to help the poor, but that the bishop did not help the parishes. The Deposit of Immigrants has been persisting in changing public and legal perception of Chinese settlers as humans who have rights. However, companies are not legally obligated to fulfill a church job.

Created Date
1867