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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
1855 1892

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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This collection of records pertain to the Russian ship "Suomi" that departed from Macao in Jaunary of 1867 with 526 Chinese settlers, and arrived in Havana in March of 1867. Suomi- 1867.

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These records pertain to the Spanish ship "Loyola" that left Macao in February 1867 with 372 Chinese settlers, and arrived in Havana on March 11, 1867. The first notice of the leasing of the ship to the company shipping the Chinese settlers was in late December of 1866. Afterwards, the ship set sail in and arrived in Havana, where a small inspection ensued, and the settlers and crew were authorized to disembark.

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Records for the ship Glessanox, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba under contract with Jose Playa, an agent for the Hernandez Company. On this trip, the Glessanox brought settlers from China to work. The ship was captained by Capello and docked in Macao before going to Havana.

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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.

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Records for the ship, Messenger, which brought Chinese settlers from China to Cuba This is a list of causes of death of Chinese settlers aboard the ship on its trip from Macao to Havana. Written in English.

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