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Rowan's mission was a success; he made contact with Garcia, who went on to play an important role during the war in support of U. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba—no one knew where. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly. Hubbard adds that Rowan took the letter, strapped it over his heart, landed by night on the coast of Cuba, disappeared into the jungle, and three weeks later came out alive, his mission accomplished.
In the first half of the twentieth century, “to take a message to Garcia” described any daunting challenge. Described by Frank Nugent of "The New York Times" "as undocumented a piece of historical claptrap as the film city has produced," "A Message to Garcia" (1936) saw Rowan (played by John Boles) crawling through an enemy-infested jungle guided by a perfectly coiffed Barbara Stanwyck, and nearly tortured by the evil Alan Hale Sr. No pesky regulators making sure you weren’t grinding rats into your hot dogs or putting alum in your candy. The richest American ever (my topic on Labor Day 2014), J. Rockefeller, was crushing competitors with his Standard Oil.
Had Nugent watched the film with the 79-year- old Rowan, the critic believes Rowan "would have arisen, screaming, and left the theater." Hubbard believed Rowan’s form should be cast in “deathless bronze” and placed on every college campus in the country. Henry Ford was already on the loose, as was Alfred Sloan.
He wrote down his thoughts in an hour and put them in a leftover spot in his newspaper.
Soon orders came for more copies, and eventually 40 million reprints of that article were distributed around the world.
Maybe the reason nobody could take a message to Garcia in 1899 was because they were too busy taking messages to Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick instead. The Colonel's own version of events in the jungles of Cuba is here.
And amidst this rollicking, money-grabbing, bloodletting, jazzed-up, capitalistic, free-for-all, Hubbard wrote one of the country’s great works of pop-business inspiration telling Americans to stop shirking their duty, stop being so lazy, and just do it. I would have bet my bottom dollar that a viral pop essay in 1899 would have told American workers exactly the opposite: Stop being so darn pushy. Do your work and stop worrying about what your boss is doing. George Daniels became director of the New York Central's new advertising department before passing away in 1908. Moore served in the Idaho legislature and published a booklet of his speeches.The point that I wish to make is this: Mc Kinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at? This incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift—these are the things that drive employers to despair.” There is a man whose form should be cast in bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the “downtrodden denizens of the sweat-shop” and the “homeless wanderers in searching for honest employment” and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.Then, George Henry Daniels (1842-1908) of the New York Central Railroad sent a telegram asking for one hundred thousand of the “Rowan article in pamphlet form—Empire State Express advertisement on the back.” Unable to meet such demand, Hubbard gave Daniels permission to reprint the article.Daniels, a marketing genius in his own right, turned the essay into a booklet and printed half a million.So, here's the "message" we might hear today in Hubbard's trifle: Seek inspiration from your children.Pay close attention to the things that leap from your heart.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, to 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 has not been appalled by the inability or unwillingness of workers to concentrate on a task and do it. Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowzy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work, and his long, patient striving with “help” that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned.Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and halfhearted work seem to be the rule. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on.Hubbard was talented and prolific--an author, publisher, artist, and philosopher.He founded the Roycroft Artisan Community in New York and was a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement.