Chinese Immigrants in Cuba: Documents from the James and Ana Melikian Collection

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Date Range
1806 2015
Created Date: 1867-10-03
Description: This is a second labor contract that was shared between Laureano- a Chinese settler, and his owner Francisco Kalli; the term of the contract was for one year. 1867.

Created Date: 1865
Description: This is a cedula or ID card for Joaquin, a Chinese settler, in 1865, listing how long he had been living in Cuba. He was hired for eight years by the Society of Immigration and contracted to a mining company.

Created Date: 1869
Description: A contract between Modesto 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. He was originally from Macao.

Created Date: 1854
Description: This is the first contract between Feliciano Yam and Goicoaría y Hermano for an undisclosed amount of time. December 1854.

Created Date: 1855-10-12
Description: Records for the ship, San Andres, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The San Andres stopped in Swatao and Santa Elena before coming to Havana.

Created Date: 1869-08-05
Description: A contract between Jose Maria, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Flores Apodaca. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by the governor, Ramon Flores Apodaca, and two witnesses.

Created Date: 1870-10-14
Description: This is a report concerning Miato, a runaway Chinese worker, and the record of his interrogation signed on October 17, 1870. The document begins with an opening statement describing a mandate to perform a thorough investigation and interrogation of the circumstances leading to Miato's escape and the appointment of witnesses; the latter half documents the interrogation. Bejucal- 1870.

Created Date: 1861-01-02
Description: This is a neighborhood identity card (cedula) that belonged to Guan- a Chinese settler. Details included in the ID include his age, the type of work he did (domestic service), and information about his contract owners and their address.

Created Date: 1881
Description: This is a Certificate of Nationality for a Chinese settler, Ramon Chian.

Created Date: 1884-12-10
Description: Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Manuel Aton. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

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.