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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.


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 Chinese settlers brought to Cuba aboard the Portuguese ship, Jovem Thomas.

Created Date
1866

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

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 records pertain to the Portuguese ship "Gica", that sailed to Havana in 1867 carrying 291 Chinese settlers.

Created Date
1867-01-22

This is a record that was written by Antonio Barcaiztegui, confirming the entry of the Portuguese ship "Emigrante" that entered the port of Havana with 539 Chinese colonists on May 23, 1854. "Emigrante" departed from Macao on January 26, 1854, and from Santa Elena on April 12, 1854, before arriving in Havana. "Emigrante"- 1855.

Created Date
1855-10-12

Request for authorization for the shipment of Chinese settlers 1855. Also contains tax certificate for the shipment of 532 Chinese settlers in the American ship "Sky Lark", tax certificate for the shipment of 233 Chinese settlers in the Portuguese ship "Sophia" and tax certificate for the shipment of 249 Chinese settlers in the Portuguese ship "Viajante".

Created Date
1855