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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
Resource Type
  • Image
Date Range
1852 1886


Documents pertaining to the hiring of Chinese settlers by Carmelita, the sugar factory owned by Rita Barbaria de Lara in Guanabana. These workers were hired for a eight year contract.

Created Date
1852

List of Chinese settlers who ran away from their owners and were later captured. After capture, they were held in the Municipal Slave Deposit. Their names, ages, and nationality are listed along with the dates of their escape and capture.

Created Date
1858

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 in Cardenas

Created Date
1861-06-10

A contract between Juan, a Chinese settler, and Julian Garcia. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. He was originally from Canton. Noted he completed a contract with Jose Lopez Francesa previously. Juan did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Julian Garcia, the governor, and two witnesses.

Created Date
1863-08-27

Records for the ship Luisita, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with La Alianza and Ferran y Dupierris. One of these workers were contracted by Juan in Havana.

Created Date
1864-06-10

A contract between Juan, a Chinese settler and Luis Alonso. The contract allowed Luis Alonso to bring Juan from China to Cuba to work. Juan was contracted by an employer upon arrival in Havana, a contract that lasted for two years.

Created Date
1865

Records for the ship Encarnacion, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with _____. On this trip, the Encarnacion brought at least 268 settlers from China to work. Eleven of them were hired by Joaquin Marquez at the Trinidad factory.

Created Date
1865

A contract between Jose Tomas, a Chinese immigrant, and Juan. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Noted that Jose Tomas completed a contract previously. Contract signed by Juan, the governor, and Jose Tomas. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867

These are two separate first labor contracts that belonged to two Chinese settlers, in which they agreed to travel to Cuba to work as indentured servants for eight years. One contract was signed in 1867 and the other in 1861. La Alianza were the agents for these contracts.

Contributors
吳, 才
Created Date
1867

Juan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Laguanillas. Juan was originally from Macao. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1867