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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.


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Status
  • Public
Date Range
1851 1892


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

Created Date
1861

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

Permission to enter the island of Cuba in a shipment of Chinese settlers in the English ship “Carpentaria”. Contractual printed in Chinese and Castilian.

Record of the investigation initiated by the death of 54 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the Spanish ship “Juan” in 1873. The investigators complied a list of the dead Chinese settlers and the location (latitude and longitude) and date of their deaths. In their investigation, the investigators questioned the captain, the ship's pilot, the sailors, the ship doctor and some Chinese settlers with the help of a translator.

Created Date
1873

Record of the investigation initiated by the death of 84 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the French ship “Guantanamo” in 1868. is: list of dead Chinese settlers killed by the location (latitude and longitude), date; research (appointment of scribe, translator; questions and answers from the captain; questions and answers from the pilot; questions and answers of several sailors; questions and answers of the translator; questions and answers from the Chinese translator; questions and answers from the ship’s doctor; questions and answers of some Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1868

Investigation of the origin of Francisco Macao, a Chinese settler who has escaped form his owner and later captured. He is imprisoned in the Depot of Cimarones in Bejucal.

Created Date
1870

Record of the investigation initiated by the deaths of 53 Chinese settlers on their way to Cuba in the Spanish ship “Amboto”.

Created Date
1873

A letter from C. J. Vallin to the governor. It details the arrival of a ship in Havana's harbor and the examination of the Chinese settlers onboard. The Administration of Sanity was satisfied with their health.

A letter from an unnamed man to the Governor of the Plaza. It details workers who escaped from the ship, Cora and were recaptured.

Created Date
1875

A letter from the State Ministry to the the Governor General of Cuba. It details a meeting between Spanish delegates and the Chinese government concerning the immigration of Chinese settlers to Cuba. After negotiations, both agreed that the legal provisions of the agreement need to be followed. The exact details of this agreement are not stated.

Created Date
1875

This is a list of 87 Chinese settlers of which 86 of them, upon arrival in Cuba, were contracted to work as fieldworkers in Havana by a Cuban businessman named Y. Gasol; the 87th settler on the list was hired by a different person to be a bread baker. The settlers arrived to Cuba aboard a ship called "A. N. Cesard". The Chinese name, Christian name, contract number, origin, and age of each settler were included in the list. March 6, 1866.

Created Date
1866-03-10

This is a list of Chinese workers who upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, were contracted to Tomas Gutierrez. The duration of the eight year contracts, including the start and end dates, as well as the the type of work they would be doing (fieldwork) were stipulated within the list. The Chinese and Spanish names of each settler, as well as their age and origin were also included in the list. 1865

Created Date
1865-03-28

This document pertains to the recruitment and transfer of the eight year contracts of 172 newly arrived Chinese settlers in Cuba. Details regarding the Cuban landlords who received the settlers' contracts are not included in this document. 1866.

Created Date
1866-03-12

List of 47 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the ship "Auguste y Gustave" they were hired to work on the Ingenio Faith in 1864.

Created Date
1864

Paper and hiring of 25 Chinese Settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Italian ship "Queen of England" They were hired to work on the field in 1864 and then contracted by Jose Antonio S. Argudin and Pedro Morales in August 1865.

Created Date
1863

List of 29 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "David". They were hired to work on the factory San Pablo in 1864 by Alejandro de la Torriente.

Created Date
1864

These documents pertain to a Chinese settler named Chin Chin who was brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Luisita", and whose eight year contract was ceded to Jose Belen Fernandez upon arrival in Havana. 1864

Created Date
1864-07-08

List of 4 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "David". They were hired to work in the field in 1864 for Antonio de Lordova.

Created Date
1864

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

Paper hiring a chinese settler brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Alfonso de Albuquerque". He was hired for the warehouse in 1864.

Created Date
1864

List of 32 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Auguste y Gustave". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for various owners.

Created Date
1865

A list of contracted workers brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Camoens" who were later hired for field work.

Created Date
1865

List of 20 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Spanish ship "Emigrante". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for Jose Nicolas Gallart

Created Date
1865

Documents and hiring list of 24 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Italian ship "Avon". They were hired to work in the field in 1865 for various owners.

Created Date
1865

Documents and procurement of 26 Chinese Settlers brought to Cuba on the Swedish ship "Mina". They were hired to work on the field in 1865. Some were also contracted to work in a warehouse in May 1866.

Created Date
1866

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

41 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the field in 1861. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Auguste y Gustave. These workers were hired to work in the fields for Francisco Gonzales Arango and Antonio Camillo.

Created Date
1865

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

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 Luis Pan.

Created Date
1865

1 Chinese settler Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Encarnacion. These workers were hired to work as a domestic servant for Andres Suarez.

Created Date
1865

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

Listing of contract documents and 4 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the American ship "Luisita" they were hired to work in the field in 1864 for Francisco Rosell.

Created Date
1864

Listing of contract documents and 32 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the French vessel Granville. They were hired to work in the fields at the ingenio "Palma Cuban" in 1866. Some are then contracted for Jose Guerrero in September.

Created Date
1866

Listing of contract 90 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Oldenburg, Germany boat "Ammerland." They were hired for field work in 1866 for Joaquin Pedroso y Echeverria.

Created Date
1866

Listing of hiring of 12 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Portuguese ship "Vasco de Gama." They were hired to work in public works in 1864

Created Date
1864

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

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

65 Chinese settlers were hired as fieldworkers. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Sr. Marques de Almendares. These workers were hired to work in the fields in the cities of Colon and Guines.

Created Date
1861-05-24

10 Chinese settlers were hired as fieldworkers. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Kate Hooper under contract with Juan Gispert. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1861-05-24

13 Chinese settlers were hired to work in a warehouse. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Vasco de Gama under contract with D. Pedro Sanchez. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1864-03-18

Chinese settlers were brought to Cuba from China abroad the Francis P. Sage, under contract with Torices, Puente y Co and Ferran y Dupierris.

Created Date
1861-05-30

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

33 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Maria Clotilde under contract with Pedro Lacoste. These workers were hired to work in Cardenas.

Created Date
1861-06-10

60 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba under contract with Mr. Maximo Mora.

Created Date
1861

56 Chinese settlers were hired to work for a company. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Avon under contract with Mamertus Pulido.

Created Date
1865

32 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Maria Clotilde under contract with Agustin Ariosa. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1861-06-04

13 Chinese settlers were hired to work in the fields. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Alonso de Albuquerque under contract with Ana Maria de Lanz.

Created Date
1864

A list of contracted workers by the government of Neuvitas in 1965. This lists the names of the workers, their age, physical descriptions, and other basic information.

Created Date
1865

8 Chinese settlers were hired to work. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Auguste y Gustave. These workers were hired to work as fieldworkers.

Created Date
1865-04-27

This is a list of 154 Chinese workers who traveled to Cuba aboard the Mourne de Nantes, a French ship, and who upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, were ceded to Antonio Gutierrez. Details about the duration of the eight year contracts, including the start and end dates, as well as the the type of work they would be doing (fieldwork) were stipulated within the list. The Chinese and Spanish names of each settler, as well as their age and origin,L were also included in the list. Antonio Gutierrez, 1866

Created Date
1866-06-05

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

Medical report announcing the death of 46 Chinese settlers aboard the Spanish frigate, Serafina. Two were thrown overboard. The Serafina was sailing to Havana from Macao.

Created Date
1869

This document is a list of the Chinese immigrants on the French ship "Veloci". There are 265 names on this list. It is signed by Fernando Firtore. it is signed and stamped by the Spanish consul.

Created Date
1872-12-02

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

This is a passenger list of the Spanish ship "Altagracia". It was captained by Juan Bautista Onain, with destination to Havana. It was recorded by the agent Don Fernando Guton. There are 361 names on the roster.

Created Date
1871-01-16

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

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, 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

Documents on import of Chinese settlers brought on the Belgian ship "Leopold Casseul" in 1863. Contains list of great Chinese settlers with many hired by Manuel Maria of Reno

Created Date
1863

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

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

Permission granted to bring a shipment of Chinese settlers in the French ship “St Croix” to Cuba. The General Captain of Cuba has hired a French ship to bring Cuba Chinese settlers: some official communications on the subject; superior civil government documents on the authorization of the shipment; document the Spanish consulate in Macao on cargo; boarding list of the 444 Chinese settlers in Macao; different paper work documents the entry of Chinese settlers

Created Date
1866

Permission to enter Cuba with a shipment of Chinese settlers in on the Bremen ship “Confucius”. The Captain General hired hired a German ship to bring Chinese settlers; some official communications on the subject; superior civil government documents on the authorization of the shipment; list of the 218 boarding Chinese settlers in Macao; document the Spanish consulate in Macao on cargo; list of the 218 boarding Chinese settlers in Macao, received in Havana landing-released Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1867

List of Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba abroad the frigate the "Carpentia". 1873

Created Date
1873

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

Created Date
1855

Documents from the Spanish consul in Hong Kong on Chinese settlers on the American ship "Kate Harper". Many of these settlers were later contracted for work by Cuban landowners.

Created Date
1868

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

Created Date
1855

The ship "Bella Gallega" brought 395 Chinese settlers to Cuba in 1855. The ship is reported to have docked in Havana and many were contracted out to various owners, including a doctor.

Created Date
1855

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

List of Chinese workers brought to Cuba abroad the frigate the "Kate Hooper".

Shipping list of Chinese settlers in the Spanish ship "Encarnation". Dated in Macao in 1871.

Created Date
1871

Contained in this ship manifest are the names of 630 Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba aboard an unknown ship in 1873. Of the 630 Chinese men who board the ship, 152 died along the way; their names are marked within the list. The number, Chinese name, age, and Christian name of each settler were included within the ship manifest.

Created Date
1873-06-14

Contained in this ship manifest is a list of 244 Chinese settlers who were brought to Cuba aboard the ship "Charlotte" in March 1865. The Chinese name, Christian name, contract number, age, origin, occupation, and length of contract of each settler were included in the list.

Created Date
1865

This is a list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Portuguese ship, Jovem Thomas.

Created Date
1866

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the French ship "Guantanamo" in 1868 with 213 settlers from Havana

Created Date
1868

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Juan" in 1873 with 727 settlers from Macao.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Villa de Comillas" in 1869 with 288 settlers from Macao. Signed by the consul of Spain in Macao

Created Date
1869

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

Created Date
1861

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Amboto" in 1873 with 900 settlers from Macao.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Amboto" in 1873 with 900 settlers from Macao

Created Date
1873

This is a ship manifest that detailed the 361 Chinese settlers who were taken to Cuba aboard the Spanish ship "Altagracia". Each settler on the ship was destined to work as an indentured servant for eight years under a strict contract with an owner. Prior to boarding the ship, each of them signed an eight year labor contract. Upon arrival in Cuba, their contracts would be ceded to various owners throughout Cuba. Included in the list are the ages, assigned numbers, names and origins of each settler.

Created Date
1871-01-16

This is a ship manifest of 218 Chinese settlers who arrived in the port of Havana on May 12, 1867, aboard the Bremen ship "Confucius." The list included the original Chinese name, new Christian name, and age of each settler. The settlers who died during the journey were marked within the list; only 5 settlers died. 1867.

Created Date
1867-05-12

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

This is a ship manifest detailing the 290 Chinese colonists expected to arrive in Cuba aboard the Portuguese ship "Gica". The ship arrived in the port of Havana on March 8, 1864, with 281 of the colonists listed in the ship manifest; seven died during the journey and two remained in Macao.

Created Date
1864-03-08

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

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

List of 590 Chinese settlers brought from China to Cuba to serve as indentured servants. They arrived in Havana abroad the American frigate, the Sky Lark. 1855.

Records for the ship Vasco de Gama, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. On this trip, the Vasco de Gama brought several settles that were hired for agriculture.

Created Date
1864

This is a shipping manifest from the ship Veloci, detailing the Chinese settlers brought to Cuba. 1872.

Created Date
1872

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 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

List of 258 Chinese settlers contracted in Macao and sent to Cuba transported aboard the ship "Delangle" in January 1867.

Created Date
1867

Listings of Chinese settlers shipping large format. Ships "San Salvador" and "Villa de Comillas". 1869

Created Date
1869

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

Created Date
1856