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

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Date Range
1805 2015
Created Date: 1866
Description: List of 400 Chinese settlers contracted in the port of Macao and sent to Cuba aboard the boat Jovem Thomas in October 1866.

Created Date: 1865
Description: Contained in this ship manifest is a list of 244 Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Charlotte" in March 1865. The Chinese name, Christian name, contract number, age, origin, occupation, and length of contract of each settler were included in the list.

Created Date: 1861
Description: List of Chinese settlers hired in jurisdiction of San Antonio who have left. Contains information on hiring, ages, dates of the contract term. Also includes a list of Chinese workers who have relocated from Villa de San Antonio in March.

Created Date: 1861
Description: Document with a list of Chinese settlers who will fulfill his contract Tenure Bejucal Government April 1861. Contracts: List of Chinese Workers about to Complete their Contracts in Bejucal- April 1861

Created Date: 1861
Description: Document with a list of Chinese settlers who fulfilled their contracts Governance of Tenure of Cienfuegos in April 1861. Contract: List of Chinese Workers about to Complete their Contracts in Cienfuegos- April 1861

Created Date: 1871-07-28
Description: This collection of documents pertains to the death of Zenon Porto; he was a free Chinese settler in Cuba who owned his own fish frying business. The first document in this group is an announcement of his death on July 28, 1971, that was made by a Cuban police official. Within the same document, the official explained that an investigation and interrogation into the matters of his death would take place. Several records of the interrogations are included in this collection. Three Chinese settlers who were familiar with Zenon Porto including his brother Nicolas, and two neighbors- Domingo and Pedro, ...

Created Date: 1865
Description: Certification of death for a Chinese settler, Fransisco, who died at the hospital Rafael. He worked for the local railroad. 1865

Created Date: 1861
Description: List of Chinese settlers belonging to Ingenio "San Jose" and have filed a complaint against their owner. They are then imprisoned as a result. 1861.

Created Date: 1868
Description: This document states that Rufino, a Chinese settler, completed his contract with Dolores Jimenez and then was contracted by a new owner upon its completion. Rufino filed a complaint against his second owner, Jose Cardenas, for a missing payment promised in his contract. Rufino entered into several more contracts with other owners afterwards.

Created Date: 1860
Description: Document stating that a captive runaway worker has completed his contract with his owner. Also, this lists research into the origin of Chinese settlers arrested in Puerto Principe. July 1860.

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.