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.


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 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

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

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

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought four settlers from China to work for Francisco de Albear.

Created Date
1861

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

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

Records for the ship Alice Thorndike, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Alice Thorndike brought 342 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1861