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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
1854 1873


Record of a Chinese settler letter for home. Contains: application for a certificate of naturalization of Chinese settlers. Signed in Chinese, chinese settler original contract in spanish Cardenas 1867 signed in chinese, Record of baptism 1866, recommendations of good conduct from the Captaincy of Lagunillas, nature tasting request signed in Chinese, original contract Macao Chinese settler written in Chinese and Spanish in 1858 and signed in Chinese, pledge of allegiance to the Spanish crown Chinese settler

Created Date
1858

This is a document requesting permanent residency for Antonio, a Chinese settler, who has completed his contract with Jorge Harris.

Created Date
1863

Relates that Federico, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He worked for the Gran Azucaria, a sugar cane producer.

Created Date
1867

Relates that Leon Padron, a Chinese settler, was applying for permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract and was baptized into the Catholic Church

Created Date
1868

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

Relates that Pecho, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. Pecho completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Ignacio Montalvo Calvo.

Created Date
1866-05-09

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

Relates that At Atay Cayetano, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He had worked for Pedro Larronde of the Descauso Sugar Factory, Florencio Tapia, and Luis Tapia. He completed an eight-year contract with Pedro Larronde.

Created Date
1871

This collection of official documents formed the application for a carta de domicilio, or permission to permanently reside in Cuba, that belonged to a Chinese settler named Wencerlao Calderin. The documents that are included in this selection are Calderin's official request for his carta de domicilio that was signed on June 26, 1866, a rehire request that was signed in 1855, and five separate certifications of contract completion and good conduct that were written by his past owners.

Created Date
1866-06-26

Relates that Jose, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements.

Created Date
1863-09-10