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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.


Language
Resource Type
Status
  • Public
Date Range
1806 1987


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

A letter to the Secretary of the Government of Cuba requesting naturalization of a Chinese settler, Leonardo Valdez. He was originally from Canton, but promises to renounce his rights as a citizen of China if he is make a Cuban citizen. Included are records of his past work contracts and letters of recommendation from past employers.

Created Date
1873

These compiled records formed the application for a Cuban naturalization card that belonged to a Chinese settler named Ricardo Bernabal. The formal request for his naturalization card was made on March 18, 1872, at which time Ricardo was 26 years old and working as a cook. He was also given a permanent residence card before being naturalized. He was also baptized.

Created Date
1872-03-18

This is an application for permanent residency for a Chinese settler Ysidoro who worked for Dolores Hernan in Cardenas. 1868.

Created Date
1868

These are the documents for permanent residency for Saturnino, a Chinese settler in 1865. He lives in Soltero and Cardenas. His application includes his identity card.

Created Date
1865

These are the documents for permanent residency for a Chinese settler, Pablo Campo. Signed by the Colonel Governor.

Created Date
1866

These are documents for permanent residency for a Chinese settler, Vieter, originally from Canton in 1865.

Created Date
1865

Application for permanent residency for a Chinese settler, Francisco Echante in 1871.

Created Date
1871

This is an application for permanent residence for Jose Sole, a Chinese settler.

Created Date
1873

Record with multiple documents about a Chinese settler including christening record; labor-hire document; successful completion of term-contract certification; certificate of good conduct; and other documents

Created Date
1866

Application for permanent residence in Cuba for a Chinese settler, Roman. Included are his baptism certificate, a work contract and a request to be rehired, and several recommendations from the owners of the Sugar Refinery of Carmen.

Created Date
1865

These are the records of Jose Dolores, a Chinese settler brought from China to Cuba for work. The documents include handwritten contracts with various owners and recommendation letters, detailing his good behavior as a worker. His certificate of nationality is also included and was accepted by the governor of Cuba.

Created Date
1864

Application documents “Letter Home” (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1868. Contains: signed application documents in Chinese; certificate of baptism of the Catholic Church; Chinese settler contract in the city of Cardenas; several letters of recommendation from several owner certifying that their contracts fulfilled without problems

Created Date
1868

Application documents “Letter Home” (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1866. Contains: letters of recommendation from the owner certifying that fulfilled his contract of 8 years; Chinese settler contract in the city of Cardenas; identity card of Chinese settlers, legalized with a police seal; original contract written in Chinese and Castilian, Swaton 1857; identity card of Chinese settlers; other documents

Created Date
1857

5.Application Documents "Letter Home" (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1865. Contains: Identity card of Chinese settlers, legalized with a police seal; letter of recommendation from the owner certifying that fulfilled his contract of 8 years; Chinese settlers statements; Government contract Guanabacoa, have working conditions

Created Date
1865

This is an application for permanent residency for Pascual, a Chinese settler. It includes the settler's original contract signed in Macao, a letter of recommendation from a previous owner, stating that he had completed an eight year contract, his cedula or identity card, and a certificate of baptism.

Created Date
1865

This file includes several document. One of them is a contract written in both Spanish and Chinese. According to the contract, Xie Tian was willing to go to Cuba as a worker. So he was requested to sign the contract and should follow the rules listed on it.

Created Date
1865
thumbnail image

This postcard image was taken in a studio in Havana. On the reverse is a handwritten annotation, "For Enrique from Lidila".

Created Date
1926-11-01

Balance sheet for the Min Chih Tang or the Chinese Democratic Party's Guantanamo delegation detailing income and expenses of the group for the year. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

Created Date
1949-06-30

This is a balance sheet for the Casino Chung Wah's Society of Instruction and Recreation. It is based in Bayamo, Cuba in the Park of the Revolution. It shows the balance in the treasury for each month.

Created Date
1955

This balance sheet lists the monthly income of the Association of Chinese Settlers. Kong Ky, the treasurer certifies that the amounts are correct. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

Created Date
1952-01-31

Balance sheet for the Kuo Min Tang's Guantanamo delegation detailing income and expenses for 1954. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

Created Date
1955-02-01

Balance sheet for the Kuo Min Tang's Bayamo Delegation in 1946.

Created Date
1946

Balance sheet for the Association of the Chinese settlers. It includes the income, spending, and net worth of the group. Signed by the President, Treasurer, and Secretary of the group. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

Created Date
1929-01-02

Balance sheet for the Kuo Ming Tang or the Nationalist Party of China’s Jobado delegation detailing income and expenses for one year. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente.

Created Date
1926

Balance sheet for the Association of Chinese Settlers, detailing income and expenses for one year. Sent to the Provincial Government of Oriente. It also lists that the Association of Chinese Settlers changed its name to Casino Chong Wah

Created Date
1948-12-31

This is a bank book from the Bank of China in Havana, Cuba, that belonged to a man named J. Chan. Havana- 1958

Created Date
1958-12-30

An unnamed Chinese settler converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. They were originally from Canton. In their baptism, they offered their loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. Candido Santa Olalla oversaw the baptism of this settler in the parish church of San Carlos in Matanzas.

Created Date
1874

Marcos, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. He was originally from a rural part of China. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1870

Pedro, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. Witnessed by Eugenio Domingues. Other Chinese settlers also were being baptized, including a settler named Ysidoro. 1868.

Created Date
1868

Catalina Martin de Macuriges, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In her baptism, she offered her loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-07-30

Luis Parodi, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. Enrique Parodi was his godfather.

Created Date
1864-06-09

Francisco Plazaola, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. He also dedicated his life and fealty to God.

Lucas, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1866-11-27

Felipe, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1868-06-06

Fernando, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Ankin. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-08-12

Fernando, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-09-16

Simon, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. He was baptized by Sebastian Junena.

Created Date
1866-06-28

Serapio, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. He was baptized by Sebastian Juanenea.

Ancate, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was contracted by Felix Garcia y Co and chose the name Francisco.

Created Date
1865-06-11

Tan-Chuy, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. Tan-Chuy was originally from Hokom. He chose the name Pedro and his godfather was Sebastian Marques.

Created Date
1863-03-22

Jose, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was contracted by Francisco Morales and was baptized in the Church of Cerro. His godfather was Jose Molina.

Created Date
1860-12-02

Candelaria, a slave, converted to Christianity. She was the slave of Juan Sibario and was the daughter of the Chinese settler, Eustaguia. Her godmother was Merced Sonata Cruz, a creole slave. She was owned by Antonio Agustin Villa.

Created Date
1869-06-07

Valentin Salazar, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. His godmother was Ceulia de la Piedra.

Created Date
1865-08-13

Jose, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. His godparents were Lorenzo Pedro and Pedro Esperon.

Created Date
1858-03-01

Atineo, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Lesatao. He chose the name Eloy Fabricio and his godparents were Jose de la Luz Jaquer and Ceula la Piedra.

Created Date
1865-08-12

Jan-Acao, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He chose the name Cristobal and his godfather was Jose Alonso y Delgado.

Created Date
1855-08-13

Ly-Ayom, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He chose the name Ricardo and his godfather was Jose Alonso y Delgado.

Created Date
1865-08-13

Chio, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Emun. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1864-10-03

Ong Wock, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Fukin. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-06-05

Juan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Cerro. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. His godfather was Manuel Estofinan.

Created Date
1860-01-09

Quiam, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Anny. He worked for Carlos Veloz and his godfather was Santiago.

Created Date
1864-10-29

Cayetano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1862

Cristobal, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, Cristobal offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-10-10

Mariano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-08-10

Teluforo, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1862-08-19

Jose, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. In his baptism, Jose offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-08-06

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

Manuel Corp, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. Manuel was originally from Macao. In his baptism, Manuel offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1871-09-15

Atay or Cayetano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1871

Narciso, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1866-07-30

Juan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Laguanillas. Juan was originally from Macao. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1867

This is a baptism certificate that was signed on November 27, 1867 by Don Jose Ramon de la Paz. The document describes the baptism of Felix, a Chinese settler. He is listed in the baptismal record book for people of color.

Created Date
1867

This baptism certificate belonged to Acuam Jo, a Chinese settler, who upon being baptized was renamed Juan Bautista. Acuam Jo was originally from Canton in China, and arrived in Cuba as an indentured servant in May of the year 1853. His original owner for his first eight year labor contract was a man named Juan de Dios Gonzalez. During the time that he was baptized and this certificate was written, Acuam Jo was in the process of completing a second contract with Jose Barrera in public works. 1864

Created Date
1864-09-13

This baptism certificate belonged to a Chinese settler named Leon-Joo, who had just been baptized and renamed Clemente Manuel when this record was written. Leon-Joo was 47 years old during this time, and had been residing in Cuba since 1847.

Created Date
1863-02-15

Concepcion was baptized into the Catholic church as a baby. She was the daughter of a Chinese settler, Ramon and a creole woman Yrene.

Created Date
1858-03-14

Lucas, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1868

Quentin Madan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the Church of Our Lady of the Ascension. Madan was originally from Canton. In his baptism, Madan offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. His godfather was Cristoval Madan and this form was signed by Manuel Miranda, priest of the Church of Our Lady of the Ascension. 1865.

Created Date
1865

This baptism record was written for Maria Luisa Facunda, who was born on February 27, 1873, to Romando and Lorenza Cabrera, two Chinese settlers. The names of her godparents are included within the document.

Created Date
1874-02-13

This document served to record personal details regarding Join Achain- a Chinese settler, who had just been baptized and renamed Jose. Originally from Yoncon in China, Jose began serving his eight year term as a contracted indentured servant on January 15, 1859. Jose Moneo y Delgado, the man who wrote this document, was Jose's contract owner and godfather for baptism.

Created Date
1859

Record of baptism of Acuam Jo. His godfather was Juan de Diaz Gonzalez Larinaga. Signed by Padre Jose Barrera.

Created Date
1864

Maria, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. Maria offered her loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. Ramon Ibarra Pastor is listed as her godfather.

Created Date
1867

Letters from the diocese in Remedios concerning the baptism of Chinese settlers who are brought to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1862

Records the number of Chinese settlers baptized in a parish church in Lagunillas in one month. Various church leaders verified the records and that the settlers understood their moral expectations and obligations.

Created Date
1877-12-08

Letter submitted to the Colonial Secretary on the christening of free blacks and freed Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1864

These are the baptismal records for several Chinese settlers who wanted to become Catholics. Their baptisms were overseen by Ingenio Dolores and signed by Federico Escobar, the Bishop of Havana. 1853.

Created Date
1853-08-23

Documents describing the christening of Chinese settlers in the Catholic church. Their names, ages, and the names of their godparents are listed in a special book for non-whites.

Created Date
1864

Record for Enrique Roman, the child of a Chinese settler, Maria de Rosario and an unknown man. His godfather was Jose Rosario who worked for Ignacio Duart y Armenteros. He was baptized in Cerro.

Created Date
1861-06-20

Record for Candelaria Maria, the child of a Creole, Clara and an unknown father. Her grandmother was Jacoba Loria. Her godfather was Angel Grey Valdes and her godmother was Maria Medina who was a slave of Carlos Dias Arguelles. She was baptized in Cerro.

Created Date
1877-05-10

This is the birth certificate of Antonio de Padua who was born to slaves belonging to Dolores Diaz Rosa and his grandparents, Daniel and Dorotea are listed as well.

Created Date
1873

Birth certificate of Lucario Fernando who was born to Solome, a black worker from the Conga and Pedro, a Chinese settler.

Created Date
1876

Record for Sebastian, the child of an unknown father and a black slave, Paula. His mother worked for Dolores de la Cruz Nunor. His godmother was Maria de la Luz, who worked for Juana de Aller y Luz. He was baptized in Cerro.

Created Date
1838-01-24

Record for Maria, the child of two Chinese settlers. Her parents worked for Jose Forca and Mercedes Valdes. Her godmother was Ana who worked for Encarnacion Martinez.

Created Date
1878-05-23

This is a blank copy of the identity cards (cedulas) that were assigned to Chinese settlers in Cuba.

A blank contract for employees working with agents Mariano del Pielago and Merino Gelledo. It has two language versions: Spanish and Chinese. It indicates the instructions that the employees should follow.

This is a certificate that granted permission for the cadaver of Alan, a Chinese settler who had died on August 25, 1898, to be buried in the Cristobal Colon Cemetery on August 26, 1898. Havana.

Created Date
1898-08-26

Burial records for Manuel Corp, originally from Macao. Their records indicate they were baptized into the Catholic church and buried in the general cemetery of Havana.

Created Date
1861-08-14

Burial records for Jesus, a Chinese settler. He was buried in the general cemetery of Havana and the cause of death is not stated.

Created Date
1864

This document pertains to an official permission that was granted to allow for a Chinese settler to be buried in the Cemetery of Colon. Havana- 1892.

Created Date
1892-06-07

This document pertains to an official permission that was granted to allow for a Chinese settler named Aloy to be buried in the Cemetery of Colon. Havana.

Created Date
1898-08-26

This document served as a record indicating that Francisco Primero, a Chinese settler who had died, was buried. Information regarding where Francisco worked (Ingenio Armonia) and the approximate location of where he was buried within the cemetery were recorded in the certificate. 1865.

Created Date
1865-01-29

Burial records for an unnamed Chinese settler. Their records indicate they were baptized into the Catholic church and buried in the Cristobal Colon Cemetery of Havana.

Created Date
1872

Burial records for Manuel Corp, originally from Macao. Their records indicate they were baptized into the Catholic church and buried in the general cemetery of Havana.

Created Date
1861

Burial records for Chinese settlers, overseen by a bishop. They were buried in a cemetery in Havana. The bishop asked for their to be a special cemetery for Chinese settlers that was to be set up by the Superior Government.

Burial records for Jorge Macao, originally from Macao. Their records indicate he was employed by Benito Nogares when he died and Dr. Victor Hernandez examined Jorge's body after he died.

Created Date
1863

Burial records for Jorge Macao, originally from Macao. Their records indicate he was employed by Benito Nuguez when he died. His body was examined by Dr. Victor Hernandez.

Created Date
1865

Three separate records from the Church of San Juan Bautista for the burial to three Chinese settlers. Each burial was paid for by the owner of the settler One burial was for Encarnacion and paid for by his owner, Carlos Ortiz. The second settler's burial was paid for by the Matanzas Railroad Company. The third, Leoncia's burial was also paid for by the Matanzas Railroad Company. 1866

Created Date
1861

Burial records for Jorge. His records indicate they were baptized into the Catholic church and buried in the general cemetery of Havana. He was employed by Benito Nuguez.

Created Date
1862

Documents pertaining to the hiring of Chinese settlers by the sugar factory, Carmelita, owned by Rita Barbaria de Lara.

Created Date
1861

Documents pertaining to the hiring of Chinese settlers by Carmelita, the sugar factory owned by Rita Barbaria de Lara in Guanabana. These workers were hired for a eight year contract.

Created Date
1852