Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors
Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors


About Team Role Theory

History & Research

Reliability & Validity

Dr. Meredith Belbin

Behavior vs. Personality



A Message to Garcia

A Message to Garcia is a best-selling inspirational essay written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard that has been made into two motion pictures.

Publication background

A Message to Garcia was originally published as a filler without title inside the March 1899 issue of the Philistine magazine which he edited, but was quickly reprinted as a pamphlet and a book. It was extremely well-liked, 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 20th century. According to language expert Charles Earle Funk, "to take a message to Garcia" was for many years a well-known American slang phrase for taking initiative and is still used by countless members of the military.

Historic framework

With stress developing involving the United States and Spain (which then reigned over Cuba), President William McKinley saw benefit in establishing contact with the Cuban rebels, who could possibly prove a valuable ally in case of conflict with Spain. McKinley asked Colonel Arthur L. Wagner to suggest an officer to make contact with Calixto García, one of the leaders of the rebels. Wagner recommended Andrew Rowan, a Captain by this time, who moved to Cuba by way of Jamaica. Rowan met Garcia in the Oriente Mountains and founded a relationship. Rowan gathered info from Garcia, who was eager to cooperate with the Americans in fighting the Spanish. Rowan returned to the US and was given control of a force of "Immunes"—African-American soldiers assumed to be resistant to the tropical diseases identified in Cuba. He received the Distinguished Service Cross.


A Message to Garcia was first made into a film in 1916 by Thomas A. Edison Inc. The silent film was directed by Richard Ridgely and starred Mabel Trunnelle, Robert Conness, and Charles Sutton as Garcia. Afterwards A Message to Garcia (1936 film) was made by Twentieth Century Fox that was directed by George Marshall and showcased Wallace Beery, Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Alan Hale, Herbert Mundin, Mona Barrie, and Enrique Acosta as Garcia.