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.

A contract between Jose or Ang Ki, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio T. de Casta and Manuel B. Pereda. 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 Ignacio T. de Casta and Ang Ki, who signed in Chinese. Contract also featured in Chinese.

洪, 柿
Created Date

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

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

This compilation of documents represents Onofre's request to either be naturalized as a Spanish citizen, or to receive his permission for permanent residence in Cuba. The documents included are his first contract, baptism certificate, personal ID card, and his request for residency, among several other personal documents. The first page in this selection is the written request for his permanent residence of naturalization, and the second to last document is the acceptance of his request for permanent residence.1863.

Created Date

This compilation of personal documents that belonged to Eustaquio- a Chinese settler, formed his application packet for his permanent residence card in Cuba. Included in the collection are his baptism certificate, his personal ID card, and his original first contract, among several other documents. The first page of this selection contains the written request for Eustaquio's permanent residence, and the last passage in the final page explains that his request was accepted. 1863

Created Date

Application documents “Letter Home” (permanent residence on the island of Cuba) 1868. Contains: signed application documents in Chinese; certificate of baptism of the Catholic Church; Chinese settler contract in the city of Cardenas; several letters of recommendation from several owner certifying that their contracts fulfilled without problems

Created Date

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

This file includes several document. One of them is a contract written in both Spanish and Chinese. According to the contract, Xie Tian was willing to go to Cuba as a worker. So he was requested to sign the contract and should follow the rules listed on it.

Created Date

A letter to the Secretary of the Government of Cuba requesting naturalization of a Chinese settler, Leonardo Valdez. He was originally from Canton, but promises to renounce his rights as a citizen of China if he is make a Cuban citizen. Included are records of his past work contracts and letters of recommendation from past employers.

Created Date

This is a formal rehire request that was written on behalf of Sebastian, a Chinese settler, who had just completed a labor contract and was seeking to sign a new one for the duration of one year. Sebastian sought to sign a new contract to work on the railroads with a railroad company under Maximo Mora. The subsequent documents include a second contract, his baptism certificate, and a formal written request for his carta de domicilio, or permanent residence card, that was signed on June 6, 1866. Other documents included in this selection are testimonies that were written by Sebastian's …

Created Date