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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.




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

Created Date
1880-06-06

A complaint filed by Francisco Orta in the name of three Chinese settlers, Francisco, Manuel, and Pablo concerning their contracts.

Created Date
1861

A contract between Lin Kun Mui or Manuel, a Chinese settler, and R. Calderon, the agent of La Alianza y Co. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes the contract was transferred to Jose Manuel Palla. Lin Kun Mui did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him.

Created Date
1867-03-18

A contract between Manuel, a Chinese settler, and Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Manuel completed a contract with Dona Lorna previously. Manuel did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Vivo y Fuentes, the governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1869-08-04

A contract between Julian, a Chinese settler, and Valentin de la Villa. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Julian did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Manuel, Valentin de la Villa, Jose Lope Francas, Guillermo Manuel Gomez.

Created Date
1865-07-22

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

An identity card, or cedula, for Manuel, originally from Macao. Manuel was twenty four years old when this card was issued. He had an eight year contract with the Society of Immigration.

Created Date
1866-05-07

An identity card, or cedula, for Manuel, originally from Macao. Manuel was twenty-four years old when this card was issued.

Created Date
1860-05-17

An identity card for Manuel, originally from Macao. Manuel was twenty-four years old when this card was issued. He worked for the Society of Immigration for eight years.

Created Date
1860

Relates that Telesforo Landa, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1863-10-09

List of workers who were recently hired by various employers. It lists the name of the employer or company, the name of the settler and their personal details.

Created Date
1872

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

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

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 and some Spaniards and a Portuguese interpreter. Signed by Manuel Esmerendis, Javier A. de Saldez, and a Chinese settler, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860-05-30

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Marino Gillado. On this trip, Encarnacion brought twenty settlers from China to work for Juan Vermay.

Created Date
1865-03-22