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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
1832 1992


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Possibly the first Chinese ambassador from the Peoples Republic of China (post Chinese revolution) to Cuba, Shen Jian with Che Guevara.

This is a story about a rich lady Josephine and her daily life.

A short story about the life of a fisherman named Philip. 鲨魚翅

Created Date
1898

This is a short story about love.

The Chinese version of Cuban fiction "Protector". 保護者

Created Date
1889

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

This is a membership license of Cuba Chinese association. The holder's name is Huang Wenfen. On the first two pages is a record of medicine shopping, including dates and amount of money. On the last two pages is the record Huang's relatives. His wife had died in his hometown and his younger brother was living in Guangzhou at that time.

Created Date
1970

A contracts between Vidal, a Chinese settler, and Pedro. The contract was to last for eight years and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by Pedro and Vidal, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Cheng or Francisco, a Chinese settler, and Vargas y Co. 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 Vargas y Co and Francisco, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1859-06-30

Certifies that Francisco Colono, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Diego de Fonseca.

Created Date
1868-06-11

Certifies that Lucas, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Benitez Diron y Co.

Created Date
1867-08-23

Certifies that Lucas, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Pedro Ybarra.

Created Date
1868-05-16

A contract between Lucas, a Chinese settler, and the Grand Sugar Production Society. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted Lucas completed a contract with Benitez Diran y Co previously. Signed by Pedro and Lucas, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

Certifies that Felipe, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Cristobal Madan.

Created Date
1866-06-01

A contract between Felipe, a Chinese settler, and Cristobal Madan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Felipe completed a contract with Yugenio la Rosa previously. Signed by Cristobal Madan and Felipe, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

A contract between Felipe, a Chinese settler, and Pedro Rorello. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Felipe completed a contract with Cristobal Madan previously. Signed by Pedro Rorello and Felipe, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

Certifies that Felipe, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Cristobal Madan.

Created Date
1868-08-30

Certifies that Felipe, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Ingenio La Rosa.

Created Date
1868-09-05

Certifies that Felipe, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Cristobal Madan.

Created Date
1868-08-29

Certifies that Fernando, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Francisco Arrieta.

Created Date
1863-09-09

Certifies that Fernando, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Francisco Arrieta.

Created Date
1868-09-06

Certifies that Simon Perez, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, the Sugar Refinery de Carmen.

Created Date
1866-08-28

Certifies that Simon Perez, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer. He then applied for permanent residency.

Created Date
1866-06-28

Certifies that Serapio, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer.

Created Date
1866-06-12

A contract between Serapio, a Chinese settler, and Joufa de Cardenas. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Serapio completed a contract with Yugenio Toro previously. Signed by Senora de Carmello, Gabriel Cabrera, and Serapio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865-06-14

A contract between Serapio, a Chinese settler, and the agents of A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. 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 Serapio, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1854-01-28

Ancate, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was contracted by Felix Garcia y Co and chose the name Francisco.

Created Date
1865-06-11

Jose, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was contracted by Francisco Morales and was baptized in the Church of Cerro. His godfather was Jose Molina.

Created Date
1860-12-02

A contract between Fernando, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Cairo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Junio completed a contract with Domingo Morales previously. Signed by two witnesses, the governor, and the new owner. Sagua de Grande.

Created Date
1868-03-20

A contract between Junio, a Chinese settler, and Juan Lairo. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Junio completed a contract with Domingo Morales previously. Signed by two witnesses, the governor, and the new owner. Sagua de Grande.

Created Date
1868-03-20

A contract between Vicente Guerra, a Chinese settler, and A. de MacKay. The contract was to last for undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Signed by A. de MacKay and Vicente Guerra, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1852-10-21

Certifies that Vicente, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Julian Jiuno.

Created Date
1863

A contract between, Sim Cheng Cristobal, a Chinese settler, and the 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 MacKay, the agent, and Cristobal, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Contributors
林, 清
Created Date
1854-03-06

A contract between Mariano, a Chinese settler, and Ignacio F. 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 Ignacio F. de Castro and Mariano, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1855-02-02

A contract between Lin-Whay Fernando, a Chinese settler, and the agent for Ignacio F. 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 Ignacio F. de Castro and Lin- Way Fernando, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

Created Date
1855-06-20

A contract between Narceso, a Chinese settler, and A. R. Ferran and Rafael R. Torices. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Signed by Narceso, who signed in Chinese. Also features the contract in Chinese.

A contract between Lim Chin, a Chinese settler, and Jose Maria Morales. The contract was to last for an undisclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Lim was originally from Hong Kong. Signed by N. Armeio and Lim, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Contributors
連, 蕉
Created Date
1857-08-27

Record of business deal for Benigno Gonzalez Alvarez with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1860-05-19

Record of business deal for Benigno Gonzalez Alvarez with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1860-05-09

Record of business deal for Cayetano Corazion and Luis Lusini with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1860-03-31

Record of business deal for Benigno Gonzalez Alvarez and Luis Lusini with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1855-01-30

Record of business deal for Cayetano and Luis Lusini with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1855-01-30

Certifies that Cayetano, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Luis Suseni.

Created Date
1859

Record of Carlos de Zaldo, who contracted Chinese settlers to move to Cuba to work. He worked with Ferran, Dupierris y Co.

Created Date
1858

Record of Carlos de Zaldo, who contracted Chinese settlers to move to Cuba to work. He worked with Ferran, Dupierris y Co.

Created Date
1858

Record of Carlos de Zaldo, who contracted Chinese settlers to move to Cuba to work. He worked with Ferran, Dupierris y Co.

Created Date
1858

Record of Luis Susim, who contracted Chinese settlers to move to Cuba to work. He worked with Ferran, Dupierris y Co and Carlos de Zaldo.

Created Date
1858

Records of business deals between the United Asian Colonization and Ferran, Dupierris y Co, concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba.

Created Date
1858

Records of business deals for the Settlement Commission, the United Asiatic Colonization, and La Positiva. La Positiva became La Alianza under Marcial Dupierris.

Created Date
1859-04-08

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

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

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

Created Date
1863-09-10

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission

Created Date
1864-08-04

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 Hong Kong, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Campbell y Co. On this trip, the Hong Kong brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-10-05

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 380 settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-03-30

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

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
1857-03-30

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

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

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

Created Date
1866-06-06

A contract between Serafin, a Chinese settler, and Vidal Delioguez. The contract was to last for a year of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that the company Serafin completed a contract with La Pura y Limpia previously. Signed by Vidal Delioguez and Serafin, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Ly-Avom, 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, Manuel Antonio de Ganza, and Ly-Avom, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-06-18

An identity card, or cedula, for Pedro. Pedro was twenty eight years old when this card was issued.

Created Date
1866

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

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

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

Created Date
1866-03-21

A contract between Leon, a Chinese settler, and Telerforo Sotolonya. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Leon completed a contract with Leon Asan previously. Signed by Telerforo Sotolonya and Leon, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1876-05-14

A contract between Leon, a Chinese settler, and Telerforo Sotolonya. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Leon completed a contract with Leon Asan previously. Signed by Telerforo Sotolonya and Leon, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1877-03-15

Certifies that Leon Padron, a Chinese settler, completed a contract with his employer, the company Carolina.

Created Date
1868-03-15

Ventura, a Chinese settler, fulfilled a contract with various employers including Pedro Silvestre, Pedro Hernandez and Juom Juan. They recommended that Ventura be given permanent residency in Cuba because he met the legal requirements of completing an eight year contract with one employer. The letter also states that Ventura always exhibited good conduct and behavior.

Created Date
1866-04-25

Certifies that Ventura Lici Kie, a Chinese settler, completed a contract with his employer, La Panchita. He was contracted soon after with Jose Ruiz.

Created Date
1866-04-16

A contract between Ventura, a Chinese settler, and Jose Ruiz. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Ventura completed a contract with La Panchita previously. Signed by Jose Ruiz and Ventura, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1866

Certifies that Ventura and Indaluis, two Chinese settlers, completed contracts with their employer, La Panchita under Agustin R. Ferran.

Created Date
1865-04-29

Certifies that Ventura, a Chinese settler, completed an eight-year-contract with his employer, Agustin R. Ferran.

Created Date
1865-04-28

A contract between Ly Kee or Ventura, a Chinese settler, and Rafael R. Torices 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 and Ly Kee, who signed in Chinese. Also featured in Chinese.

Created Date
1857-04-28

Certifies that Pablo, a Chinese settler, completed an two-year-contract with his employer, Juan Nepom Ortega.

Created Date
1865-12-16

Report on the efforts of Manuel B. de Pereda to bring Chinese settlers to Cuba to work. The Civil Government had to consider what ships could be allowed to import settlers, who could sponsor them, and the laws concerning their rights and work privileges.

Report on the efforts of Manuel B. de Pereda to bring Chinese settlers to Cuba to work. The Civil Government had to consider what ships could be allowed to import settlers, who could sponsor them, and the laws concerning their rights and work privileges.

Report on the efforts of Manuel B. de Pereda to bring Chinese settlers to Cuba to work, mostly to work on the Villoldo Wardrop y Co project.

Created Date
1853-10-18

A letter from Jose Vicente Jorge. It details the efforts Spain and the Royal Government took to encourage immigration to the Americas in general, with a special focus on the Chinese immigrating to Cuba. He specifically mentions a ship that was contracted to bring settlers to Cuba: the Viajante. Jose Vicente Jorge was the Knight Commander of the Order of Christ formed by Isabella, the Catholic.

Created Date
1853-01-10

A letter detailing the efforts of Villoldo Wardrop's project and the hiring of Chinese settlers for that project from Manuel B. de Pereda. 3000 settlers were contracted to work on the project.

Created Date
1832-05-23

A letter detailing the efforts of Villoldo Wardrop's project and the hiring of Chinese settlers for that project from Manuel B. de Pereda. Several settlers were contracted to work on the project.

Created Date
1852-03-23

A letter from Eugenio Ponton from the port of Havana to the mayor's office. It details a dispute between Gregorio Tejedor and the Society of Pereda, Machado y Co over compensation for some Chinese settlers that Tejedor contracted from the company.

Created Date
1851-12-19

A letter from Eugenio Ponton from the port of Havana to the mayor's office. It details a dispute between Gregorio Tejedor and the Society of Pereda, Machado y Co over compensation for some Chinese settlers that Tejedor contracted from the company.

A letter from Eugenio Ponton from the port of Havana to the mayor's office. It details a dispute between Gregorio Tejedor and the Society of Pereda, Machado y Co over compensation for some Chinese settlers that Tejedor contracted from the company.

Created Date
1856-01-09

A letter from Eugenio Ponton from the port of Havana to the mayor's office. It details a dispute between Gregorio Tejedor and the Society of Pereda, Machado y Co over compensation for some Chinese settlers that Tejedor contracted from the company.

Created Date
1855-11-28

A letter from an unnamed office of the port of Havana to the Royal Administration. It details the arrival of a ship in the harbor that brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba to work under contract with Manuel B. de Pereda.

Created Date
1882-02-05

A letter from an unnamed office of the port of Havana to the Royal Administration. It details the arrival of a ship in the harbor that brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba to work under contract with Manuel B. de Pereda.

Created Date
1857-12-10

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

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

Relates that Ramon, a Chinese settler, was granted permanent residency in Cuba after fulfilling the legal requirements. He completed an eight year contract with Ruigo Medina y Co.

Created Date
1866-02-08

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

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and the judge ruled that they did not have to pay for their worker's burial.

Created Date
1866-10-30

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and the judge ruled that they did not have to pay for their worker's burial. Two Chinese settlers, Rafael and Benrem filed the charges.

Created Date
1868-08-19

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1868-05-09

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case. The bishop of Matanzas supports that companies should not pay for burials because it is a church job.

Created Date
1868-07-09

Records pertaining to the right of a company to not pay for the burial of their employees if they die while contracted. The company in question is a railroad and has been solicited by the government concerning the case.

Created Date
1867-12-16