A MESSAGE TO GARCIA
Being a Preachment
[Illustration: Elbert Hubbard]
Done into a Printed Book
by the Roycrofters at
Their Shop, Which Is in East
Aurora, Erie County, N.Y.
Copyright 1914 by Elbert Hubbard
If you work for a man, in Heaven's name work for him. If he pays wages
that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of
him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution
he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him.
I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time. I
would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an
ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must vilify,
condemn, and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and when
you are outside, damn to your heart's content. But, I pray you, so
long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that
you will injure the institution not that but when you disparage the
concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself. And don't
forget "I forgot" won't do in business.
[Sidenote: A trying day ]
This literary trifle, "A Message to Garcia," was written one evening
after supper, in a single hour. It was on the Twenty second of
February, Eighteen Hundred Ninety nine, Washington's Birthday, and we
were just going to press with the March "Philistine." The thing
leaped hot from my heart, written after a trying day, when I had been
endeavoring to train some rather delinquent villagers to abjure the
comatose state and get radio active.
[Sidenote: The real hero of the war]
The immediate suggestion, though, came from a little argument over the
teacups, when my boy Bert suggested that Rowan was the real hero of
the Cuban War. Rowan had gone alone and done the thing carried the
message to Garcia.
[Sidenote: The increasing demand]
It came to me like a flash! Yes, the boy is right, the hero is the man
who does his work who carries the message to Garcia. I got up from
the table, and wrote "A Message to Garcia." I thought so little of
it that we ran it in the Magazine without a heading. The edition
went out, and soon orders began to come for extra copies of the March
"Philistine," a dozen, fifty, a hundred; and when the American News
Company ordered a thousand, I asked one of my helpers which article it
was that had stirred up the cosmic dust.
"It's the stuff about Garcia," he said.
[Sidenote: George H. Daniels]
The next day a telegram came from George H. Daniels, of the New York
Central Railroad, thus: "Give price on one hundred thousand Rowan
article in pamphlet form Empire State Express advertisement on
back also how soon can ship."
I replied giving price, and stated we could supply the pamphlets in
two years. Our facilities were small and a hundred thousand booklets
looked like an awful undertaking.
The result was that I gave Mr. Daniels permission to reprint the
article in his own way. He issued it in booklet form in editions of
half a million. Two or three of these half million lots were sent out
by Mr. Daniels, and in addition the article was reprinted in over
two hundred magazines and newspapers. It has been translated into all
[Sidenote: Prince Hilakoff]
At the time Mr. Daniels was distributing the "Message to Garcia,"
Prince Hilakoff, Director of Russian Railways, was in this country. He
was the guest of the New York Central, and made a tour of the country
under the personal direction of Mr. Daniels. The Prince saw the little
book and was interested in it, more because Mr. Daniels was putting it
out in such big numbers, probably, than otherwise.
[Sidenote: The Russian railroad men]
In any event, when he got home he had the matter translated into
Russian, and a copy of the booklet given to every railroad employee in
Other countries then took it up, and from Russia it passed into
Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Hindustan and China... Continue reading book >>