Skip to main content

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


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

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.

A contract between Vong-Ayon, a Chinese settler, and the Asian Company of Havana run by A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The Asian Company of Havana was to bring Vong-Ayon from China to Cuba to work. The contract lists the legal requirements of both the settler and the company. Signed by Cañete y Morales, A. R. Ferran, and J. R. Vargas. Also written in Chinese.

Contributors
黃, 閠
Created Date
1857-11-26

A contract between Fang-Achat, a Chinese settler, and L. Miguel Gonzalez. The contract does not state how long it was supposed to last, but it lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Contract signed by L. Miguel Gonzalez and two others, but not the settler. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
鄧, 七

A contract between Telefiro, a Chinese settler, and Luis de Alele. Telefiro was originally from Macao. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Telefiro completed a contract previously. Telefiro did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Domingo Sadaña, Andres Mendez, and Jose Ladele.

Created Date
1866-05-20

A contract between Justo, a Chinese immigrant, and Gaspar Vinals. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Justo did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose Lopes Francas, Manuel de la Fuente, and Gaspar Vinals.

Created Date
1871

A contract between Justino Campbell and the government of Cuba. The contract granted Justino Campbell the right to recruit Chinese settlers to come to Cuba to work. Campbell was permitted to use the ship Hoggersbank under Captain Achenback.

Created Date
1866-12-09

A contract between Chan Achan, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by A. R. Ferran, J. R. Vargas, and Chan Achan, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-10-12

A contract between Asseng, a Chinese settler, and Carlos Flotard. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Asseng did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Jose R. Marquez.

Created Date
1851-10-05

These are two first contracts that were issued for two Chinese settlers in 1866 and in 1867. Signed and dated in Spanish.

Created Date
1866-10-18