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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
1854 1873


A contract between San Kim or Fernando Guerra, a Chinese settler, and an agent of Ignacio Fernandez de Castro. 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 Al MacKay and San Kim, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1854-06-05

A letter to the Brigadier General Governor concerning the permanent residency of Saturnina, a Chinese settler who completed her eight year control with Marques Duqueme. Her contract, in Spanish and Chinese, is also included. 1855.

Contributors
林, 贵
Created Date
1855

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

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

Certifies that Justo, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Miguel Armona. He then entered into a contract with Gaspar Vinato.

Created Date
1861

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

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

Created Date
1863-09-09

This collection of personal documents belonged to Pascual Guerra, a Chinese settler, and comprised his application for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents in this collection include his first contract, baptism certificate, and a review written by one past owner attesting to his poor conduct. The final document in this selection certifies that Pascual sought to become a Spanish subject and obey Spanish laws; it is signed by an official who accepted Pascual's request for permanent residence in Cuba. 1863

Created Date
1863-09-09

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

Created Date
1863-09-10