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 Vicente, a Chinese settler, and D. Martin de Cardenas y Layas. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Renewal of Vicente's initial labor contract of six months. Signed by Martin de Cardenas y Layas and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought five settlers from China to work in the countryside.

Created Date
1861

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and Jose Sanchez Mezodio. The contract was to last for two and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes Vicente completed a contract with Jose Sanchez Mezodio previously. Signed by Jose Sanchez Mezodio and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1861-06-03

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

Created Date
1863

A contract between Vicente, a Chinese settler, and Manuel Guyarro. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Vicente completed a contract with Manuel Guyarro previously. Signed by Manuel Guyarro and Vicente, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868

A contract between Joaquin, a Chinese settler, and Ramon Flores Apodaca. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Joaquin did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Julian Gellanea, Vicente, and Manuel Arey.

Created Date
1869-08-05

A contract between Francisco, a Chinese settler, and Juan Ocarco y Arango. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Francisco did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Fermin Franco, Manuel Ruiz, Vicente, and Julio.

Created Date
1869-08-09