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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.


Date Range
1806 2015


Relates the marriage restrictions that were imposed in all of the settled communities. Several mixed marriages were either suspended or annulled by the government and the churches.

Created Date
1806-04-02

Describes a violent crime committed by a "gang" or small group in Chinese immigrants. The four men assaulted Joaquin Barals and Emilio Agostini. Details the government response to the violence. Signed by Felipe Arango, the Superintendent.

Created Date
1821-02-12

A letter detailing the efforts of Villoldo Wardrop's project and the hiring of Chinese settlers for that project from Manuel B. de Pereda. 3000 settlers were contracted to work on the project.

Created Date
1832-05-23

An identity card, or cedula, for Jacobo, originally from Jaum. Jacobo was thirty-five years old when this card was issued. He worked for eight years for Manuel B. Perez and Franco Iglesias.

Created Date
1836

Record for Sebastian, the child of an unknown father and a black slave, Paula. His mother worked for Dolores de la Cruz Nunor. His godmother was Maria de la Luz, who worked for Juana de Aller y Luz. He was baptized in Cerro.

Created Date
1838-01-24

A letter from Rafael Chiang, the president of Kuo Min Tang's Jobabo delegation to the Provincial Governor. It details how Chiang sent the balance sheet for his delegation to the Provincial Government in accordance with the laws.

Created Date
1840-05-28

The shipping records of Rosalia Hernandez. He records bringing workers from China to Cuba for a railway company.

Created Date
1845

These are the shipping records of Joaquin Pedrero. He was bringing a shipment of immigrants from Cuba into port. The records are written as a letter to the governor.

Created Date
1845

This document grants release to a Chinese settler that had been previously imprisoned.

Created Date
1845

This is a first labor contract that belonged to a Chinese settler, Fulano, in which he agreed to relocate to Cuba to work as an indentured servant for eight years. Unlike most of the first contracts in this series, this contract was completely handwritten. It states that this contract was then transferred to Martin Pedroso on July 26, 1847. Originally signed 1847.

Created Date
1847-03-08