A Message to Garcia
By Elbert Hubbard
In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at
perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to
communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness
of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure
his cooperation, and quickly.
What to do!
Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan"
took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off
the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other
side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things
I have no special desire now to tell in detail.
The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the
letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in
deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men
need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be
loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.
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. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-
hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes