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.


61 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Sage Francis under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861

Overview and minutes of meeting of 5 Chinese settlers hired to work in the field in 1861. They were transported to Cuba aboard the American ship “Francis P. Sage" under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. These workers were hired to work in the fields in Bejucal.

Created Date
1861

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

Records for the ship, Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. The Messenger stopped in Macao before going to Cuba.

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

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

Records for the ship Francis P. Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Francis P. Sage brought several settlers from China to work for Juan Gispert.

Created Date
1861