A Message to Garcia

A Message To Garcia

A Message to Garcia

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A Message to Garcia is an inspirational essay written by Elbert Hubbard that has been made into two motion pictures. It was originally published as a filler without a title in the March, 1899 issue of the Philistine magazine which he edited, but was quickly reprinted as a pamphlet and a book. It was wildly popular, selling over 40 million copies, and being translated into 37 languages. It also became a well-known allusion in American popular and business culture until the middle of the twentieth century. According to language expert Charles Earle Funk, "to take a message to Garcia" was for years a popular American slang expression for taking initiative and was used by many people who were unaware of its origins.

Background on A Message to Garcia

With tensions between the United States and the Spanish (who then ruled Cuba) growing, President William McKinley saw value in establishing contact with the Cuban rebels who could prove a valuable ally in case of war with Spain. McKinley asked Colonel Arthur L. Wagner to suggest an officer to make contact with Calixto García e Iñiguez, one of the leaders of the rebels. Wagner suggested Andrew Rowan, by now Captain, who then traveled to Cuba via Jamaica. Rowan met Garcia in the Oriente Mountains and established a rapport. Rowan garnered information from Garcia who was eager to cooperate with Americans in fighting the Spanish. Rowan returned to the US and was given command of...
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