Based off of an event that took place during the Spanish-American war, “A Message to Garcia” was written by Elbert Hubbard to sermonize work ethics and obedience. It wasn’t but two days before President McKinely’s “war message” to congress that the president needed to establish contact with the Cuban General, Garcia. Before declaring war, President McKinley met with Colonel Arthur Wagner, head of the Bureau of Military Intelligence for the United States, to ask “Where can I find a man to carry a message to Garcia?” General Garcia was somewhere within the mountains of Cuba leading rebel troops in their fight for independence. No one knew his whereabouts. Colonel Wagner simply answered, “I have a man- a young officer, Lieutenant Andrew Summers Rowan. If anybody can get a message to Garcia, Rowan can.” Col. Wagner stood before Lieutenant Rowan, “Young man, you must carry a message to General Garcia, who will be found somewhere in the eastern part of Cuba…You must plan and act for yourself. The task is yours and yours only.” Without hesitation Rowan shook the Colonel’s hand and left to find Garcia. Sealed in Rowan’s oilskin pouch, he headed towards the Mountains of Cuba. Within four days he landed off the coast of Cuba, and then disappeared into the jungle. Three weeks later he came out the other side of the island with the message delivered. “A Message to Garcia” has sold over 40 million copies and is still used by military leaders to model exemplary work ethic. No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man -- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
PBS, . "ELbert Hubbard." An American Original. PBS, n.d. Web. 24 Feb 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/wned/elbert-hubbard/edu-work-ethics.php>.
“A Message to Garcia”...