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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
Date Range
1851 1892


Records for the ship Altagracia, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Altagracia brought 361 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1871-01-16

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

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

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

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

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, 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

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

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

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

Created Date
1872

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

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

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought 325 settlers from China to work.

Created Date
1871-07-12

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

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

The purpose of this record regarding the French ship "Malabar", was to document the end of a quarantine that was made for the 497 Chinese settlers aboard the ship who were suspected of carrying a contagious disease upon their arrival in Guanajay in Cuba. 1868.

Created Date
1868-04-23

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 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

Records for the ship Queen of England, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with D. I. M. Zangroniz. On this trip, the Queen of England brought 500 settlers from China to work for various employers.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Veloce, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Veloce brought 256 settlers from China to work as indentured servants.

Created Date
1873-05-06

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

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Fernando Tuton, an agent for La Alianza. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought 327 settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Juan A. Gardoqui.

Created Date
1871-03-08

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

Records for the ship Tamaris, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba. On this trip, the Tamaris brought 300 settlers from China to work as indentured servants.

Created Date
1869-02-06

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

Created Date
1871

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

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

Created Date
1861

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

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

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

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

Created Date
1855

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

Created Date
1873

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

Created Date
1858

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

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 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

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

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

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 "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 "Juan" in 1873 with 727 settlers from Macao.

Created Date
1873

Shipping list of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba in the Spanish ship "Neva" in 1870 with 537 settlers to Havana.

Created Date
1870

List of Chinese settlers brought to Cuba on the ship "Emmanuel".

Created Date
1865

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

Created Date
1868

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

Created Date
1856

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.

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

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