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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


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

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

This is a list of 87 Chinese settlers of which 86 of them, upon arrival in Cuba, were contracted to work as fieldworkers in Havana by a Cuban businessman named Y. Gasol; the 87th settler on the list was hired by a different person to be a bread baker. The settlers arrived to Cuba aboard a ship called "A. N. Cesard". The Chinese name, Christian name, contract number, origin, and age of each settler were included in the list. March 6, 1866.

Created Date
1866-03-10

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

This document pertains to the recruitment and transfer of the eight year contracts of 172 newly arrived Chinese settlers in Cuba. Details regarding the Cuban landlords who received the settlers' contracts are not included in this document. 1866.

Created Date
1866-03-12

List of 47 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the ship "Auguste y Gustave" they were hired to work on the Ingenio Faith in 1864.

Created Date
1864

Paper and hiring of 25 Chinese Settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Italian ship "Queen of England" They were hired to work on the field in 1864 and then contracted by Jose Antonio S. Argudin and Pedro Morales in August 1865.

Created Date
1863

List of 29 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "David". They were hired to work on the factory San Pablo in 1864 by Alejandro de la Torriente.

Created Date
1864

These documents pertain to a Chinese settler named Chin Chin who was brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Luisita", and whose eight year contract was ceded to Jose Belen Fernandez upon arrival in Havana. 1864

Created Date
1864-07-08

List of 4 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "David". They were hired to work in the field in 1864 for Antonio de Lordova.

Created Date
1864

22 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Francis P Sage under contract with Torices, Puente y Co y Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861

List of 14 chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the American ships "Live Yankee" and "Wakefield". They were hired to work in the field in 1861 for Pedro Lenoude.

Created Date
1861

Paper hiring a chinese settler brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Alfonso de Albuquerque". He was hired for the warehouse in 1864.

Created Date
1864

List of 32 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Auguste y Gustave". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for various owners.

Created Date
1865

A list of contracted workers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Camoens" who were later hired for field work.

Created Date
1865

List of 20 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Spanish ship "Emigrante". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for Jose Nicolas Gallart

Created Date
1865

Documents and hiring list of 24 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Italian ship "Avon". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for various owners.

Created Date
1865

Documents and procurement of 26 Chinese Settlers brought to Cuba on the Swedish ship "Mina". They were hired to work on the field in 1865. Some were also contracted to work in a warehouse in May 1866.

Created Date
1866

12 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field in 1861. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Mercedes. These workers were hired to work for Antonio Carrillo.

Created Date
1861

46 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field in 1861. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ships Grey Hound and May Queen. These workers were hired to work for Juan Antonio.

Created Date
1861

41 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field in 1861. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Auguste y Gustave. These workers were hired to work in the fields for Francisco Gonzales Arango and Antonio Camillo.

Created Date
1865

1 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Encarnacion. These workers were hired to work as domestic servants for Ramon Hernandez.

Created Date
1861

1 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Mayotte. These workers were hired to work in the field Jose Ingarrisa y Vergara.

Created Date
1861

1 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Encarnacion. These workers were hired to work as domestic servants for Luis Pan.

Created Date
1865

1 Chinese settler Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Encarnacion. These workers were hired to work as a domestic servant for Andres Suarez.

Created Date
1865

Chinese settlers were hired to work as domestic servants. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Francis P. Sage under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. These workers were hired to work in the fields.

Created Date
1861

Listing of contract documents and 4 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the American ship "Luisita" they were hired to work in the field in 1864 for Francisco Rosell.

Created Date
1864

Listing of contract documents and 32 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the French vessel Granville. They were hired to work in the fields at the ingenio "Palma Cuban" in 1866. Some are then contracted for Jose Guerrero in September.

Created Date
1866

Listing of contract 90 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Oldenburg, Germany boat "Ammerland." They were hired for field work in 1866 for Joaquin Pedroso y Echeverria.

Created Date
1866

Listing of hiring of 12 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Portuguese ship "Vasco de Gama." They were hired to work in public works in 1864

Created Date
1864

These documents pertain to 19 Chinese settlers who arrived in Havana aboard the American ship "Live Yankee" in 1861. Upon arrival in Cuba, their eight year labor contracts were ceded to a landowner named Juan Poey; he hired them to be fieldworkers. Havana, 1861.

Created Date
1861-03-04

61 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Sage Francis under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861

21 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Mr. John Dihigo. They were hired to work in the field in the city of Cardenas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Created Date
1861

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

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

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

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

Shipping records of Torices, Puentes y Co. regarding the ships they contracted to bring Chinese settlers from China to Cuba to work. Includes letters from captains of some of these ships detailing to the government their contracts with Torices, Puente y Co.

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

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

These documents pertain to the American ship "Norway" that arrived in Havana on March 30, 1860, with around 900 colonists from China. The purpose of these communications were to establish conditions that needed to be met for authorization to be granted for the Chinese settlers to disembark. A list of the passengers, their contracts, and a health inspection had to be completed before any of the settlers could be let off the ship. Ultimately, the final document in this selection reveals that the settlers were eventually let off the ship two days later, and were taken into a police station …

Created Date
1860-03-13

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 Marino Gillado. On this trip, Encarnacion brought twenty settlers from China to work for Juan Vermay.

Created Date
1865-03-22

These documents pertain to the Spanish ship "Manila" that left China with 248 Chinese colonists in March of 1867, and arrived in Havana with 236 Chinese colonists on April 15, 1867. The first document in this collection was the notification that the company that contracted the 248 Chinese colonists to work in Cuba had leased the Spanish ship in February of 1867, and were preparing the ship and crew to leave for Cuba. The subsequent documents are notifications of the ship's departure from China, and it's successive arrival in Cuba. 1867.

Created Date
1867

This report was written by a member of the local board of health of Havana- Junta Local de Sanidad de la Habana, to a government official regarding the procedures and regulations for ships that arrived into the port of Havana with Chinese settlers on board, and the importance of those procedures. The board member explained that once the ships were docked in the port, the company introducing the settlers was required to provide ship manifests, the settlers' contracts, lists of the settlers who died during the journey and the causes of their deaths, and other documents to support that the …

Created Date
1860-03-14

Shipping records for the frigates, Live Yankee and Wake, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. These workers were contracted in Macao. They were to be contracted out to other employers.

Records for the ship David, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the David brought 48 settlers from China to work in the fields.

Created Date
1866

Shipping contract between the company, La Alianza, and Ferran and Dupierris with the frigate, Luisita. The ship was to bring Chinese settlers contracted by la Alianza to Cuba from China for work.

Created Date
1864

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The settlers were to be contracted out to other employers upon arrival.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Luisita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. One of these workers were contracted by Juan in Havana.

Created Date
1864-06-10

Shipping records for the ship, the Carmelita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The Carmelita has fulfilled its contract for the shipment of these settlers on the 30th of October, 1852. These settlers were to be contracted by other employers.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Luisita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. Three of these workers were contracted by Fosca y Araoz in Sagua la Grande.

Created Date
1864-07-09

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 A. N. Cesard, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the A. N. Cesard brought 184 settlers from China to work in the fields.

Created Date
1866

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
1865

Records for the ship Alfonso de Albuquerque, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Alfonso de Albuquerque brought settlers from China to do fieldwork.

Created Date
1864-06-30

Records for the ship Queen of England, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Queen of England brought twenty-seven settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Queen of England, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Queen of England brought thirty-four settlers from China to work for Antonio Martinez.

Created Date
1865

This is a list of Chinese workers on the ship the Queen of England. It describes all of the workers as having an 8 year contract.

Created Date
1865-07-31

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

List of 258 Chinese settlers contracted in Macao and sent to Cuba transported aboard the ship "Delangle" in January 1867.

Created Date
1867

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Francaso Bustamante.

Created Date
1860-07-30

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

Created Date
1851

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

Created Date
1858

Records for the ship Live Yankee, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co.

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

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia.

Created Date
1860

Shipping records for a frigate that brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. These settlers were later contracted by other employers in Sagua la Grande.

Created Date
1873

Records for the ship Leopold de Cabeaux, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Leopold de Cabeaux brought twenty settlers from China to work for Julia Alfonso.

Created Date
1863

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1864-06-05

Records for the ships Live Yankee and P Wakefield, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ships Solide de Dieppa, Bitty Sriapera, and Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with various employers.

Created Date
1860-05-24

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 Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1864-06-05

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

Records for the ship Carpenteria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Gregorio Cejedor. On this trip, the Carpenteria brought settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1866-12-18

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

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

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

Records for the ship Delangle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza. On this trip, the Delangle brought 275 settlers from China to work.

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 Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Francaso Bustamante. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia and stopped in Manila before coming to Cuba.

Created Date
1860-06-30

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Marino Gillado. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought settlers from China to work for Arrengui Ganz.

Created Date
1865-03-24

Records for the ship Flora, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with D. I. M. Zangroniz. On this trip, Flora brought settlers from China to work.

Records for the ship Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, Messenger brought workers from China to work.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Marino Gillado. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought settlers from China to work for Arrengui Ganz.

Created Date
1865-03-24

Records for the ship Francois, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Campbell y Co. On this trip, the Francios brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1859-02-10

Records for the ship Hoggenbark, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Campbell y Co. On this trip, the Hoggenbank brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-06-06

Records for the ship Hoggenbark, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Campbell y Co. On this trip, the Hoggenbark brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-12-01

Records for the ship Hoggenbark, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Campbell y Co. On this trip, the Hoggenbark brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-04-03

Records for the ship Francis P. Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris. This worker was to be employed as a domestic servant.

Created Date
1861-05-22