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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
1836 1889


An identity card, or cedula, for Manuel, originally from Macao. Manuel was twenty four years old when this card was issued. He had an eight year contract with the Society of Immigration.

Created Date
1866-05-07

An identity card for Pelayo, a Chinese settler. Pelayo was thirty-eight years old when this card was issued and worked for Nicolas Martinez Valdiviero. He had completed an eight-year contract yet with B. Pereda.

Created Date
1866

An identity record, or cedula, for a Chinese settler, Pelayo. He was brought from Soltero, China to Cuba to work for Nicolas Martines Valdivieso for eight years.

Certificate of nationality of Chinese settler, Francisco Agil. It was signed by the Consulate General. He lived in Soltero. July 6, 1880

Created Date
1880

Cedula or identification card for Toribio, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Soltero and is in the process of of fulfilling a contract with a Cuban landowner. 1869.

Created Date
1869

A death certificate for Horentio Bay, who died at the Civil Hospital of Our Lady of Mercy in Havana. He died from tuberculosis and was buried in the general cemetery.

Created Date
1889-07-23

This is a labor contract that was shared between Higiorio, a Chinese settler, and his owner, Pedro del Campo; the term of the contract was for one year. 1866.

Created Date
1866-05-30

A death certificate for Andres, a Chinese immigrant from Soltero. He died in the Royal Hospital in San Felipe y Santiago from pulmonary problems.

Created Date
1870-06-13

A death certificate for Marcelino Pelayo, a Chinese immigrant from Soltero. He died in the Royal Hospital in San Felipe y Santiago from tuberculosis.

Created Date
1876-06-23

A death certificate for Marcial, a Chinese immigrant from soltero. He died in the Royal Hospital in San Felipe y Santiago.

Created Date
1873-07-11

Death certificate for Jose Amuy, who was originally from Soltero. He died from pulmonary problems at the Royal Hospital in San Felipe y Santiago. It was signed by Enrique Lourtia.

Created Date
1871-04-11

Identity card for foreigners, issued to Wing Git Wong, born in 1917. He entered Cuba in 1948 and became a permanent resident. His parents names are listed and he is said to reside in Soltero

A cedula or identity record for Loreto, a Chinese settler. He was originally from Luai Sen. He worked for B. Solares to work in a copper factory.

Created Date
1855

This is the first labor contract that was shared between a Chinese settler named Leopoldo, and his owner, Felipe Macau, presumably a freed Chinese settler. Leopoldo had already completed a contract with Joaquin Tiago. He was brought from Canton to Cuba to work as an indentured servant in Soltero. The term of the contract with Don Felipe was for six months. 1866. Signed in Chinese by Leopoldo.

Created Date
1866-05-20

This is the first labor contract that belonged to a Chinese settler named Benigno, and his owner, Ramon Felipe. Benigno was brought from Soltero to Cuba to work as an indentured servant. The term of the contract was for one year. 1868. Signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1868-07-30

These are the documents for permanent residency for Saturnino, a Chinese settler in 1865. He lives in Soltero and Cardenas. His application includes his identity card.

Created Date
1865

The cedula or an identity record for a Chinese settler, Francisco. He was brought from Soltero, China to Cuba to work for M. B. Pereda for eight years. Then, his contract was transfered to R. A. Leull for an additional eight years. 1864

Created Date
1864

An identity card, or cedula, for Capruto, originally from Soltero. Capruto worked for Josefa Carbonell.

Created Date
1865

An identity card, or cedula, for Jan Bak, originally from So Sin. Jan Bak was twenty seven years old when this card was issued. He had an eight year contract with Rodrigo Laray and then Antonio de Valle. He lived in Soltero.

Created Date
1861

Cedula or identity card for Ignacio, a Chinese settler. He lived in Soltero and worked for Pedro Ferran y Lauda

Created Date
1865

Certificate of nationality for Chinese settler, Jose Varquez. He was originally from Canton and lived in Soltero. Signed in Chinese. 1880.

Created Date
1880

Certificate of Nationality of Chinese settler, Emeterio de Jesus. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton, but lived in Soltero.

Created Date
1880

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

A contract between Ricardo, a Chinese settler, and Angel Garcia. The contract was to last for two years and lists the legal requirements for both the employee and the employer. Ricardo was originally from Canton. Notes that Ricardo completed a contract with Joaquin Forcano previously.

Created Date
1867-11-26

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Jacinto Allo. It was signed by the Consulate General.

Created Date
1883-09-22

A contract between Ysidoro, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Fernandez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Ysidoro completed a contract with another owner previously. Signed by Francisco Fernandez, the governor and Ysidoro, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-08-12

Certificate of Nationality for Jacinto, a Chinese settler. Brought to Cuba from China to work as an indentured servant, he lived in Soltero.

Created Date
1880

The certificate of nationality for Liborio who was from Canton and moved to Soltero to be an indentured servant.

Created Date
1884

Certificate of nationality of a Chinese settler, Cirilo Torres. It was signed by the Consulate General. He was originally from Canton.

Created Date
1884