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

Permanent Link Feedback

Date Range
1806 2015
Created Date: 1859
Description: Two separate records are included within these documents. One document is the record of the departure of Emigrante, a Spanish ship, from China for Cuba on April 6, 1859. The second document is a record of the departure of Daguerre and Yormose, both French ships, from China to Cuba on February 23, 1859. The intent of the three voyages was to transport Chinese settlers to Cuba, where they would begin working for several Spanish land and factory owners as indentured servants.

Created Date: 1868-09-05
Description: This is a death record of Lucas- a Chinese settler. Information about the cause of his death, which was cholera in this case, and when and where he was buried was recorded in the document.

Created Date: 1869-10-11
Description: This is a second labor contract that was shared between Anacleto- a Chinese settler, and Manuel Paredes, his owner. By signing the contract, Anacleto agreed to work under the orders of Paredes for one year. 1869.

Created Date: 1865-05-27
Description: This is a list of Chinese indentured servants whose eight year labor contracts upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, were ceded to Bartolome Casanas. 1865

Created Date: 1872-01-25
Description: This is a neighborhood identity card (cedula) that belonged to Gustabo, a Chinese settler. It lists his home address.

Created Date: 1855
Description: The intent of this document was to stipulate the purposes and rules regarding cedulas (neighborhood identity cards).

Created Date: 1884-12-13
Description: This is a certificate of nationality that belonged to Pedro Aloy, a Chinese settler. The certificate served as a record indicating that Pedro had been registered at the Consulate General of China in Cuba as a subject of the Emperor of China. According to the document, at the time it was issued Pedro was 42 years old, single, and considered a non-resident. He was from Canton in China, and lived in Matanzas in Cuba. 1884.

Created Date: 1869-09-21
Description: This is a second labor contract that was shared between Daniel a Chinese settler, and Jose Valentin de Cabo, his new owner, in which Daniel agreed to work for Jose Valentin de Cabo for one year. The contract was issued after Daniel completed his original eight year labor contract with another owner. 1869.

Created Date: 1869-08-04
Description: This is a second labor contract that was shared between Brito, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Gabriel Vivo y Fuentes; the term of the contract was for one year. 1869.

Created Date: 1869-11-15
Description: This is a second labor contract that belonged to Severo- a Chinese settler, and his owner, D. Francisco Gandarilla. The purpose of this second contract was to renew and extend Severo's original eight year labor contract with Gandarilla for six months. 1869.

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.