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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.


Date Range
1851 1892


Records for the ship Altagracia, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Altagracia brought 361 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1871-01-16

This is a list of Chinese workers who upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, were contracted to Tomas Gutierrez. The duration of the eight year contracts, including the start and end dates, as well as the the type of work they would be doing (fieldwork) were stipulated within the list. The Chinese and Spanish names of each settler, as well as their age and origin were also included in the list. 1865

Created Date
1865-03-28

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
1859

This is a list of 154 Chinese workers who traveled to Cuba aboard the Mourne de Nantes, a French ship, and who upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, were ceded to Antonio Gutierrez. Details about the duration of the eight year contracts, including the start and end dates, as well as the the type of work they would be doing (fieldwork) were stipulated within the list. The Chinese and Spanish names of each settler, as well as their age and origin,L were also included in the list. Antonio Gutierrez, 1866

Created Date
1866-06-05

Records of the ship, "Julian de Murueta", which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The Julian de Murueta stopped in Swatao and Santa Abalena before coming to Havana.

Created Date
1855-10-12

This is a ship manifest of 352 Chinese settlers who traveled aboard an unknown ship from China to Cuba. The personal details of each settler included were their names, ages, origins, and type of labor they dedicated themselves to. Nine of these settlers died on the journey. 1857.

Created Date
1857-06-22

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
1855-10-12

This is a ship manifest that contained some details, such as age and origin, of several Chinese immigrants aboard the Peruvian ship "Maria Natividad". The ship arrived in the port of Havana on June 4, 1857, carrying at least 38 Chinese settlers. 1857.

Created Date
1857-06-04

This is a ship manifest of 218 Chinese settlers who arrived in the port of Havana on May 12, 1867, aboard the Bremen ship "Confucius." The list included the original Chinese name, new Christian name, and age of each settler. The settlers who died during the journey were marked within the list; only 5 settlers died. 1867.

Created Date
1867-05-12

This is a shipping manifest from the ship Veloci, detailing the Chinese settlers brought to Cuba. 1872.

Created Date
1872

Records for the ship Carpentaria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Carpentaria brought settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Antonio de Barcaiztegui and stopped in Swateo and Puerto Rico before going to Havana.

Created Date
1855

8 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Auguste y Gustave. These workers were hired to work as fieldworkers.

Created Date
1865-04-27

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought 325 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1871-07-12

This is a letter that was written by Antonio de Barcaiztegui certifying that the Spanish ship "La Encarnacion" that sailed from Macao to Cuba arrived in Havana on April 15, 1854, and that the arrival was documented in the official book of ship entries.

Created Date
1855-10-12

This is a ship manifest that detailed the 361 Chinese settlers who were taken to Cuba aboard the Spanish ship "Altagracia". Each settler on the ship was destined to work as an indentured servant for eight years under a strict contract with an owner. Prior to boarding the ship, each of them signed an eight year labor contract. Upon arrival in Cuba, their contracts would be ceded to various owners throughout Cuba. Included in the list are the ages, assigned numbers, names and origins of each settler.

Created Date
1871-01-16

The purpose of this record regarding the French ship "Malabar", was to document the end of a quarantine that was made for the 497 Chinese settlers aboard the ship who were suspected of carrying a contagious disease upon their arrival in Guanajay in Cuba. 1868.

Created Date
1868-04-23

This is a ship manifest that contained details of 305 Chinese settlers who boarded the Dutch ship "Vrow Johanna" with the intention of sailing to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival in Cuba, each settler would be contracted to work as an indentured servant for eight years by various property owners in Cuba. The age, name, and origin of each settler were included in the list, and the settlers who died during the journey were marked as deceased. 1854.

Created Date
1854-03-31

This is a ship manifest detailing the 290 Chinese colonists expected to arrive in Cuba aboard the Portuguese ship "Gica". The ship arrived in the port of Havana on March 8, 1864, with 281 of the colonists listed in the ship manifest; seven died during the journey and two remained in Macao.

Created Date
1864-03-08

Records for the ship Queen of England, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with D. I. M. Zangroniz. On this trip, the Queen of England brought 500 settlers from China to work for various employers.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Veloce, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Veloce brought 256 settlers from China to work as indentured servants.

Created Date
1873-05-06

Records for the ship Cristina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Cristina brought 200 settlers from China to work as an indentured servant.

Created Date
1857-06-25

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Fernando Tuton, an agent for La Alianza. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought 327 settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Juan A. Gardoqui.

Created Date
1871-03-08

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Vasco de Gama brought several settles that were hired for agriculture.

Created Date
1864

Records for the ship Tamaris, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Tamaris brought 300 settlers from China to work as indentured servants.

Created Date
1869-02-06

Shipping list of Chinese settlers in the Spanish ship "Encarnation". Dated in Macao in 1871.

Created Date
1871

List of Chinese workers brought to Cuba abroad the frigate the "Kate Hooper".

This documents the names and ages of 592 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the American frigate, "Kate Hooper" under the command of Captain E. Johnson. Contains two lists of shipment of Chinese settlers and all are listed under their Chinese names, indicating that they have no yet been baptized. Also, there is a note of which settlers got sick during the journey.

Created Date
1861-02-11

List of Chinese settlers brought from China to Cuba on the American ship, the "Kate Hooper". 1861. 592 settlers were brought in one shipment.

Created Date
1861

The ship "Bella Gallega" brought 395 Chinese settlers to Cuba in 1855. The ship is reported to have docked in Havana and many were contracted out to various owners, including a doctor.

Created Date
1855

The American frigate "Hound" brought 230 Chinese settlers to Cuba from China in 1855.

Created Date
1855

Documents from the Spanish consul in Hong Kong on Chinese settlers on the American ship "Kate Harper". Many of these settlers were later contracted for work by Cuban landowners.

Created Date
1868

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba abroad the "Martin Luther".

Created Date
1855

List of Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba abroad the frigate the "Carpentia". 1873

Created Date
1873

Records for the ship Huntreel and Mary Elisebe, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Sam Thomas.

Created Date
1858

Medical report announcing the death of 46 Chinese settlers aboard the Spanish frigate, Serafina. Two were thrown overboard. The Serafina was sailing to Havana from Macao.

Created Date
1869

Records for the ship Serafina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought 396 settlers from China. The ship was captained by Galdiz.

Created Date
1860-05-26

Records for the ships Solide of Dieppe, Bitty Sriapera, and Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with various employers. On this trip, the Solide of Dieppe brought 184 settlers from China to work for ___.

Created Date
1860-05-24

Record of the investigation initiated by the deaths of 53 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the Spanish ship “Amboto”.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Amboto" in 1873 with 900 settlers from Macao

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Amboto" in 1873 with 900 settlers from Macao.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Kate Hooper" in 1861 with 592 settlers from Macao

Created Date
1861

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Villa de Comillas" in 1869 with 288 settlers from Macao. Signed by the consul of Spain in Macao

Created Date
1869

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Juan" in 1873 with 727 settlers from Macao.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Neva" in 1870 with 537 settlers to Havana.

Created Date
1870

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the ship "Emmanuel".

Created Date
1865

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the French ship "Guantanamo" in 1868 with 213 settlers from Havana

Created Date
1868

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba from China abroad the Spanish frigate, "Emigrante". These settlers are all from Macao.

Created Date
1856

List of 590 Chinese settlers brought from China to Cuba to serve as indentured servants. They arrived in Havana abroad the American frigate, the Sky Lark. 1855.

Permission to enter Cuba with a shipment of Chinese settlers in on the Bremen ship “Confucius”. The Captain General hired hired a German ship to bring Chinese settlers; some official communications on the subject; superior civil government documents on the authorization of the shipment; list of the 218 boarding Chinese settlers in Macao; document the Spanish consulate in Macao on cargo; list of the 218 boarding Chinese settlers in Macao, received in Havana landing-released Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1867

Ship manifest of the Spanish ship “Encarnacion”. General information to the Captain of the island that has hired a Spanish ship to bring Cuba Chinese settlers; some official communications on the authorization of the shipment; document the Spanish Consulate in Macao on cargo; boarding list of the 289 Chinese settlers in Macao; boarding list of the 289 Chinese settlers received in Havana; record to investigate the conditions under which they have been hired Chinese settlers

Created Date
1861

Permission granted to bring a shipment of Chinese settlers in the French ship “St Croix” to Cuba. The General Captain of Cuba has hired a French ship to bring Cuba Chinese settlers: some official communications on the subject; superior civil government documents on the authorization of the shipment; document the Spanish consulate in Macao on cargo; boarding list of the 444 Chinese settlers in Macao; different paper work documents the entry of Chinese settlers

Created Date
1866

Documents on arrival at the port of Havana ship "Hancock War" with Chinese settlers. 1856. List of the 564 boarding Chinese settlers who arrived in Havana

Created Date
1856

Ship manifest on a shipment of Chinese settlers in the Spanish ship “Encarnacion” from Swatao City. List of the 316 Chinese settlers in Havana. 1855. General information to the Captain of the island that has hired a boat to bring Cuba Chinese settlers. List of the 365 boarding Chinese settlers in Havana in the American ship “Florida”, from Swatao from 1857

Created Date
1857

Records for the ship Carpenteria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Pereda, Machado y Co .

Created Date
1851

Records for the ships Hound and Sky Lark, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Manuel B. de Pereda. On this trip, the Sky Lark brought 532 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1855

Records for the ship American Eagle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Jose Castro and Jose Manuel.

Created Date
1856

Permission to enter the island of Cuba in a shipment of Chinese settlers in the English ship “Carpentaria”. Contractual printed in Chinese and Castilian.

Record of the investigation initiated by the death of 84 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the French ship “Guantanamo” in 1868. is: list of dead Chinese settlers killed by the location (latitude and longitude), date; research (appointment of scribe, translator; questions and answers from the captain; questions and answers from the pilot; questions and answers of several sailors; questions and answers of the translator; questions and answers from the Chinese translator; questions and answers from the ship’s doctor; questions and answers of some Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1868

Record of the investigation initiated by the death of 54 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the Spanish ship “Juan” in 1873. The investigators complied a list of the dead Chinese settlers and the location (latitude and longitude) and date of their deaths. In their investigation, the investigators questioned the captain, the ship's pilot, the sailors, the ship doctor and some Chinese settlers with the help of a translator.

Created Date
1873

This is a list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Portuguese ship, Jovem Thomas.

Created Date
1866

Records for the ship Juan, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the agent of Aureliano Olano. On this trip, the Juan brought over eight hundred settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1873

Records for the ship Belangle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Belangle brought two hundred and seventy five settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1867

Records for the ship Glesannox, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Glesannox brought over seven hundred settlers from China to work for. The ship was captained by D. Capella.

Created Date
1874

Records for the ship Italia, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Jose A. Tuton. On this trip, the Italia brought five hundred and twenty settlers from China to work for.

Created Date
1869

Documents on import of Chinese settlers brought on the Belgian ship "Leopold Casseul" in 1863. Contains list of great Chinese settlers with many hired by Manuel Maria of Reno

Created Date
1863

Records for the ship Flora, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with J. M. Zagroniz. On this trip, the Flora was captained by Lafontiane.

Created Date
1866

Records for the ship Kate Hooper, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Kate Hooper brought settlers from China to work, all of whom were later contracted.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship, Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. The Messenger stopped in Macao before going to Cuba.

Records for the ship, Alfonso de Albuquerque, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with la Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Alfonso de Albuquerque brought settlers from China to work on farms.

Created Date
1864

Records for the ship Alejandra Rally, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Laget, an agent for Casa de Barin Leon Lay y Co. On this trip, the Alejandra Rally brought four hundred and thirty settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1859

A contract between Mae Asan or Jose Yris, a Chinese settler, and the agent of Ignacio Fernandez de Castro. The contract was to last for a disclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Yris was to be brought aboard to Viajante. He was originally from Chen-Chuin. The contract was later transferred to Manuel B. a Pereda in Havana. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1859-04-02

Records for the ship Neva, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with la Alianza. On this trip, the Neva brought settlers from China to work on road construction.

Created Date
1863

Records for the ship Delangle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza.

Created Date
1867

Records for the ship, Ville de Lima, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Bauraw, the agent for Pellier, Bastand and the Company of Marsella. On this trip, Ville de Lima brought 500 from China to work. The ship stopped in Macao before going to Cuba.

Records for the ship Delangle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Pedro Fercade. On this trip, the Delangle brought settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1867

Several records identifying mistreatment of Chinese settlers aboard the Bremen “Fides”. It contains the testimony of three Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Amboto, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Amboto brought twelve settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Laureano Ausuatigue.

Created Date
1873

Records for the ship Oldenburg Ammerland, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Y. M. Zangroniz y Co. On this trip, the Oldenburg Ammerland brought fourteen from China to work for the sugar plantation "La Palma". 1866

Created Date
1866

Records for the ship Lucie, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the agent, Fernando. On this trip, the Lucie brought 360 settlers from China to work for ___. List of 360 Chinese settlers brought from Macao, China to Cuba on the French ship "Lucie".

Created Date
1871

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with _____. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought at least 268 settlers from China to work. Eleven of them were hired by Joaquin Marquez at the Trinidad factory.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Kate Hooper, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Ferran y Dupierris and Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Kate Hooper brought six settlers from China to work in the fields.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Aoon, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Ferran and Dupierris and la Alianza. On this trip, the Aoon brought 104 settlers from China to work. Most were hired by Jose Baró and one was hired by Agustin Terran.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Catalonia, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Catalonia brought 524 settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Escajadillo.

Created Date
1870

A letter from the State Ministry to the the Governor General of Cuba. It details a meeting between Spanish delegates and the Chinese government concerning the immigration of Chinese settlers to Cuba. After negotiations, both agreed that the legal provisions of the agreement need to be followed. The exact details of this agreement are not stated.

Created Date
1875

Listings of Chinese settlers shipping large format. Ships "San Salvador" and "Villa de Comillas". 1869

Created Date
1869

A list of contracted workers by the government of Neuvitas in 1965. This lists the names of the workers, their age, physical descriptions, and other basic information.

Created Date
1865

13 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Alonso de Albuquerque under contract with Ana Maria de Lanz.

Created Date
1864

32 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Maria Clotilde under contract with Agustin Ariosa. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1861-06-04

56 Chinese settlers were hired to work for a company. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Avon under contract with Mamertus Pulido.

Created Date
1865

60 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba under contract with Mr. Maximo Mora.

Created Date
1861

33 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Maria Clotilde under contract with Pedro Lacoste. These workers were hired to work in Cardenas.

Created Date
1861-06-10

Chinese settlers were transported to Cuba aboard the Francis P. Sage under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861-03-31

Chinese settlers were brought to Cuba from China abroad the Francis P. Sage, under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861-05-30

Records for the ship Francis P Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Francis P Sage brought settlers from China to work in the countryside.

Created Date
1861-05-27

Records for the ship Francis P. Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Francis P. Sage brought more than five hundred settlers from China to work for Jose Antonio Galamaga.

Created Date
1861-05-26

13 Chinese settlers were hired to work in a warehouse. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Vasco de Gama under contract with D. Pedro Sanchez. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1864-03-18

10 Chinese settlers were hired as fieldworkers. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Juan Gispert. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1861-05-24

65 Chinese settlers were hired as fieldworkers. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Sr. Marques de Almendares. These workers were hired to work in the fields in the cities of Colon and Guines.

Created Date
1861-05-24

Records for the ship Francis P. Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Francis P. Sage brought several settlers from China to work for Juan Gispert.

Created Date
1861

49 Chinese settlers were hired to work on public works. They were transported to Cuba aboard the Portuguese “Vasco de Gama". Were hired to work on public works in the city of Cardenas

Created Date
1861