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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.


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1851 1892


Records for the ship Carpenteria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Pereda, Machado y Co .

Created Date
1851

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Compania Asiatica and Torices Puente y Co. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought Nicolas, a Chinese settler, from China to work in the countryside.

Created Date
1851-04-30

Records for the ship Cayrem, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Cayrem brought settlers from China to work. The Administration of Sanitation examined the settlers that left the ship and were satisfied with their overall health.

Created Date
1853-01-15

Records for the ship Martin Luther, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Martin Luther brought 580 settlers from China to work. Nineteen were hired by the police and ranchers.

Created Date
1854-03-22

This is a ship manifest that contained details of 305 Chinese settlers who boarded the Dutch ship "Vrow Johanna" with the intention of sailing to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival in Cuba, each settler would be contracted to work as an indentured servant for eight years by various property owners in Cuba. The age, name, and origin of each settler were included in the list, and the settlers who died during the journey were marked as deceased. 1854.

Created Date
1854-03-31

This is a passenger list of Chinese immigrants on an unknown ship. There were 352 total passengers, but 9 died on the journey. This was recorded in Havana by Rafael R. Forices.

Created Date
1854-07-22

Request for authorization for the shipment of Chinese settlers 1855. Also contains tax certificate for the shipment of 532 Chinese settlers in the American ship "Sky Lark", tax certificate for the shipment of 233 Chinese settlers in the Portuguese ship "Sophia" and tax certificate for the shipment of 249 Chinese settlers in the Portuguese ship "Viajante".

Created Date
1855

Records for the ship Carpentaria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Carpentaria brought settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Antonio de Barcaiztegui and stopped in Swateo and Puerto Rico before going to Havana.

Created Date
1855

Records for the ships Hound and Sky Lark, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Manuel B. de Pereda. On this trip, the Sky Lark brought 532 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1855

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba abroad the "Martin Luther".

Created Date
1855

The American frigate "Hound" brought 230 Chinese settlers to Cuba from China in 1855.

Created Date
1855

This is a record that was written by Antonio Barcaiztegui, confirming the entry of the Portuguese ship "Emigrante" that entered the port of Havana with 539 Chinese colonists on May 23, 1854. "Emigrante" departed from Macao on January 26, 1854, and from Santa Elena on April 12, 1854, before arriving in Havana. "Emigrante"- 1855.

Created Date
1855-10-12

This is a record that was written by Antonio de Barcaiztegui certifying that the American ship "Hound" that sailed from Macao to Cuba arrived in Havana with 228 Chinese settlers on July 22, 1855, and that the arrival was documented in the book of ship entries.

Created Date
1855-10-12

Records for the ship Meuries which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Meuries brought 299 settlers from China to work. The ship stopped in Swatao and Santa Elena before coming to Havana.

Created Date
1855-10-12

This is a letter that was written by Antonio de Barcaiztegui certifying that the Spanish ship "La Encarnacion" that sailed from Macao to Cuba arrived in Havana on April 15, 1854, and that the arrival was documented in the official book of ship entries.

Created Date
1855-10-12

Records for the ship, San Andres, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The San Andres stopped in Swatao and Santa Elena before coming to Havana.

Created Date
1855-10-12

Records of the ship, "Julian de Murueta", which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The Julian de Murueta stopped in Swatao and Santa Abalena before coming to Havana.

Created Date
1855-10-12

Records for the ship American Eagle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Jose Castro and Jose Manuel.

Created Date
1856

Documents on arrival at the port of Havana ship "Hancock War" with Chinese settlers. 1856. List of the 564 boarding Chinese settlers who arrived in Havana

Created Date
1856

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba from China abroad the Spanish frigate, "Emigrante". These settlers are all from Macao.

Created Date
1856

Records for the ship Carpenteria, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Carpenteria brought settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1856-01-15

Ship manifest on a shipment of Chinese settlers in the Spanish ship “Encarnacion” from Swatao City. List of the 316 Chinese settlers in Havana. 1855. General information to the Captain of the island that has hired a boat to bring Cuba Chinese settlers. List of the 365 boarding Chinese settlers in Havana in the American ship “Florida”, from Swatao from 1857

Created Date
1857

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 arrival of ship, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba, in the port of Havana. The ship brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-03-31

This is a list of 300 Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Johanna Maria". Only the number, Chinese name, age, and origin of each settler were included in the list. Of the 300 Chinese settlers on the ship manifest, fourteen of them died on the way to Havana, and one never boarded the ship. The settlers who died were marked in the manifest with the word murio (died). 1857.

Created Date
1857-03-31

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

This is a ship manifest that contained some details, such as age and origin, of several Chinese immigrants aboard the Peruvian ship "Maria Natividad". The ship arrived in the port of Havana on June 4, 1857, carrying at least 38 Chinese settlers. 1857.

Created Date
1857-06-04

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

This is a ship manifest of 352 Chinese settlers who traveled aboard an unknown ship from China to Cuba. The personal details of each settler included were their names, ages, origins, and type of labor they dedicated themselves to. Nine of these settlers died on the journey. 1857.

Created Date
1857-06-22

Records for the ship Cristina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Cristina brought 200 settlers from China to work as an indentured servant.

Created Date
1857-06-25

This is a passenger list of Chinese immigrants on the Sevuana Maria Natividad. There are 76 names on the list.

Created Date
1857-07-14

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 Hoggenbark brought settlers from China to work in Havana.

Created Date
1857-12-01

Records for the ship Huntreel and Mary Elisebe, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Sam Thomas.

Created Date
1858

Two separate records are included within these documents. One document is the record of the departure of Emigrante, a Spanish ship, from China for Cuba on April 6, 1859. The second document is a record of the departure of Daguerre and Yormose, both French ships, from China to Cuba on February 23, 1859. The intent of the three voyages was to transport Chinese settlers to Cuba, where they would begin working for several Spanish land and factory owners as indentured servants.

Created Date
1859

Records for the ship Alejandra Rally, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Laget, an agent for Casa de Barin Leon Lay y Co. On this trip, the Alejandra Rally brought four hundred and thirty settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1859

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

A contract between Mae Asan or Jose Yris, a Chinese settler, and the agent of Ignacio Fernandez de Castro. The contract was to last for a disclosed amount of time and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Yris was to be brought aboard to Viajante. He was originally from Chen-Chuin. The contract was later transferred to Manuel B. a Pereda in Havana. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1859-04-02

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso, Bustamante y Co.. On this trip, Carmencita brought 123 settlers from China to work. This document grants the Carmencita permission to dock in Havana.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The settlers were to be contracted out to other employers upon arrival.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship, Ville de Lisna, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Banzan, the agent for the Company of Marsella. On this trip, Ville de Lisna brought settlers from China to work. The ship stopped in Macao before going to Cuba.

Created Date
1860

Shipping records for the ship, the Carmelita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. The Carmelita has fulfilled its contract for the shipment of these settlers on the 30th of October, 1852. These settlers were to be contracted by other employers.

Created Date
1860

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, Seraphina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought 400 settlers from Cuba. The Serafina stopped in Amoy and the Cape of Good Hope before going to Cuba.

Created Date
1860

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-02-04

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

This report was written by a member of the local board of health of Havana- Junta Local de Sanidad de la Habana, to a government official regarding the procedures and regulations for ships that arrived into the port of Havana with Chinese settlers on board, and the importance of those procedures. The board member explained that once the ships were docked in the port, the company introducing the settlers was required to provide ship manifests, the settlers' contracts, lists of the settlers who died during the journey and the causes of their deaths, and other documents to support that the …

Created Date
1860-03-14

Records for the ship, Ville de Lisna, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Banzan, the agent for the Company of Marsella. On this trip, Ville de Lisna brought settlers from China to work. The ship stopped in Macao before going to Cuba.

Created Date
1860-05-02

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

Records for the ships Solide of Dieppe, Bitty Sriapera, and Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with various employers. On this trip, the Solide of Dieppe brought 184 settlers from China to work for ___.

Created Date
1860-05-24

Records for the ship Serafina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought 396 settlers from China. The ship was captained by Galdiz.

Created Date
1860-05-26

Records for the ship Serafina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought several settlers from China to work and some Spaniards and a Portuguese interpreter. Signed by Manuel Esmerendis, Javier A. de Saldez, and a Chinese settler, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1860-05-30

Records for the arrival of the ship, Serafina, in the port of Havana, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, a medic was called to the ship to examine several sick settlers.

Created Date
1860-06-01

Records for the arrival of a ship in the port of Havana, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, a medic was called to the ship to examine several sick settlers.

Created Date
1860-06-01

Records for the ship Serafina, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Serafina brought several settlers from China to work. Signed by Tomas.

Created Date
1860-06-01

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Francaso Bustamante. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia and stopped in Manila before coming to Cuba.

Created Date
1860-06-30

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Francaso Bustamante.

Created Date
1860-07-30

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. Records of business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal

Created Date
1860-08-24

Records for the ship Carmencita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante. The ship stopped in Manila before going to Cuba. The ship was captained by Captain Garcia. Also records the business deals of the Society of Troncaso Bustamante, specifically relating to their hiring practices and the ages of their settlers. Relates their illegal hiring of settlers under the age of 14. Article 8 of the laws concerning the hiring of Chinese settlers stated that the hiring of people under the age of 14 was illegal.

Created Date
1860-08-24

Shipping records for the ship the Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the Asian Company of Havana and Mr. Torices, Puente, Ferran and Dupierris. These workers were to work in the countryside for Antonio Navamete.

Created Date
1861

Shipping records for the ship the Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with the Asian Company of Havana and Mr. Torices, Puente, Ferran and Dupierris. These workers were to work in the countryside for Antonio.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ships Live Yankee and P Wakefield, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Live Yankee, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices Puente y Co. Upon arrival, Torices Puente y Co. instructed the settlers as to their legal status as was required by the government. The government also required that the company check on the mental health of their settlers after arriving in Cuba. Also lists the amounts paid to ships, captains, etc. by Torices Puente y Co for this shipment and a shipment of settlers aboard the P Wakefield.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Reina de Oceano, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncoso, Bustamante y Co. On this trip, the Reina de Oceano brought workers from China to work as field workers.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Reina de Oceano, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncoso, Bustamante y Co. On this trip, the Reina de Oceano brought workers from China to work as field workers for Bartolome Mujano.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Carmelita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Rita Barbarca a la Lara. On this trip, Carmelita brought settlers from China to work in Matanzas.

Created Date
1861

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

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 ships L Yankee and J Wakefield, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the L Yankee and the J Wakefield brought settlers from China to work for Eduardo Fesser.

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

1 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Encarnacion. These workers were hired to work as domestic servants for Ramon Hernandez.

Created Date
1861

1 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Mayotte. These workers were hired to work in the field Jose Ingarrisa y Vergara.

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 Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought two hundred settlers from China to work for various employers.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Delangle, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza. On this trip, the Delangle brought 275 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1861

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

21 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Mr. John Dihigo. They were hired to work in the field in the city of Cardenas.

Created Date
1861

49 Chinese settlers were hired to work on public works. They were transported to Cuba aboard the Portuguese “Vasco de Gama". Were hired to work on public works in the city of Cardenas

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

Records for the ship Kate Hooper, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Ferran y Dupierris and Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Kate Hooper brought six settlers from China to work in the fields.

Created Date
1861

Several records identifying mistreatment of Chinese settlers aboard the Bremen “Fides”. It contains the testimony of three Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1861

Records for the ship Kate Hooper, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente y Co. On this trip, the Kate Hooper brought settlers from China to work, all of whom were later contracted.

Created Date
1861

Ship manifest of the Spanish ship “Encarnacion”. General information to the Captain of the island that has hired a Spanish ship to bring Cuba Chinese settlers; some official communications on the authorization of the shipment; document the Spanish Consulate in Macao on cargo; boarding list of the 289 Chinese settlers in Macao; boarding list of the 289 Chinese settlers received in Havana; record to investigate the conditions under which they have been hired Chinese settlers

Created Date
1861

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Kate Hooper" in 1861 with 592 settlers from Macao

Created Date
1861

List of Chinese settlers brought from China to Cuba on the American ship, the "Kate Hooper". 1861. 592 settlers were brought in one shipment.

Created Date
1861

This documents the names and ages of 592 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the American frigate, "Kate Hooper" under the command of Captain E. Johnson. Contains two lists of shipment of Chinese settlers and all are listed under their Chinese names, indicating that they have no yet been baptized. Also, there is a note of which settlers got sick during the journey.

Created Date
1861-02-11

These documents pertain to 19 Chinese settlers who arrived in Havana aboard the American ship "Live Yankee" in 1861. Upon arrival in Cuba, their eight year labor contracts were ceded to a landowner named Juan Poey; he hired them to be fieldworkers. Havana, 1861.

Created Date
1861-03-04

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices y Puente. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought workers from China to work as domestic servants.

Created Date
1861-03-10

Records for the ship Francis P Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris. This worker was to be employed as a domestic servant.

Created Date
1861-03-15

Records for the ship Francis P. Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris. This worker was to be employed as a domestic servant.

Created Date
1861-03-15

Records for the ship Francis P Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris. These workers from China to work in the countryside

Created Date
1861-03-21

Records for the ship Francis P Sage, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Torices, Puente and Ferran y Dupierris. One worker from China to work as a domestic servant.

Created Date
1861-03-21

Chinese settlers were transported to Cuba aboard the Francis P. Sage under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861-03-31

Records for the ship Maria Clotilde, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Troncaso Bustamante and Company. On this trip, the Maria Clotilde brought 256 settlers from China to work. They were hired to be domestic servants.

Created Date
1861-04-22

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with la Compania Asiatica, Torices, Puente y Co, and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought a worker from China to work for Antonio Nuvamete.

Created Date
1861-04-30

Records for the ship Grey Hound, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with la Compania Asiatica, Torices, Puente y Co, and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Grey Hound brought a worker from China to work for Antonio Nuvamete.

Created Date
1861-04-30