Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can you--will you-- carry the message?

A Message to Garcia

Lieutenant Andrew Rowan and General Calixto Garcia in Cuba, May, 1898

       Have you ever asked someone to do something that was very important to you, and they agreed to do it, but then failed to do it?
          How about you?  If you agree to do something for someone, do you do everything in your power to make it happen?
            How many people do you know that you can absolutely count on to do something?
            Do you think that others can count on you? Absolutely?

            The world is filled with people who have the best of intentions.  They say they’ll do something, they really mean to do it, but…. it just doesn’t get done.  Oh, they always have an excuse, but you were counting on them. 
            You probably won’t count on them again. 

            Many years ago, when I started at the U.S. Naval Academy as a plebe, they issued us each a little booklet, A Message to Garcia, by Elbert Hubbard.  We had to memorize this little story, and the reason was to engrave upon our brains the absolute importance of getting the job done.  Whatever job.  If you are assigned a job, and you accept it, then you do it. 
            The “Message to Garcia” was about President William McKinley, facing possible war with Spain over Cuba.  He wanted to get a letter to a Cuban insurgent, high in the mountains of Cuba, to communicate the intentions of the United States of America, and to determine the military situation.  He needed someone he could rely upon to deliver this message, and the name of this young Army officer, Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, came up. 
            Lieutenant Rowan took the President’s message, and, after four days of travel through dangerous terrain, found General Garcia and delivered the message. 

            There are men and women every day who are given a task to do, and, without asking a lot of questions, without any excuses, they go to work, and do the job. 

            And then there are far more men and women who do not get the job done. 

            This event in Cuba happened 114 years ago, but Elbert Hubbard picked up the story and wrote a preachment that, if you’ve never read it, might make a difference to you.

            Let me share with you a few paragraphs of A Message to Garcia, so you can see for yourself this lesson for the ages:

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 anybody can."
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 other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.
Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".
Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?
On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Which encyclopedia?
Where is the encyclopedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don’t you mean Bismarck?
What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.
Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.
And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.
Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.
Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?
"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.
"Yes, what about him?"
"Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."
Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy 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. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.
It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.
--end of excerpt--
            You can supply for yourself tasks like A Message to Garcia.  Certainly when President Obama gave the approval to carry out the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, he was a assigning it to men fully capable and willing to carry out the mission.  And they did.
Here’s the link to the whole treatise of A Message to Garcia:


The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

Q. How did the reign of Emperor Henry IV conclude?
A. Pope Pafcal II. in the year one thoufand one hundred and two, again excommunicated him, and inftigated his son, who was afterwards Henry V. to declare war aginft his father, whom he vanquifhed and defspoiled of the empire in the year one thoufand one hundred and fix.
--Historical Grammar, 1808
Historical Grammar or a Chronological Abridgement of Universal History, by LaCroze, translated from the 7th edition of the French by Lucy Peacock. Revised, corrected and greatly enlarged by Caleb Bingham, A.M., author of the columbian Orator, American Preceptor, &c. 1808 Boston, MA: Caleb Bingham, No. 44 Cornhill, David Carlisle, printer. 228 pp. 10.8 x 17.6 cm. This is an abridged history. Part I: From the Creation of the World to the Deluge, 1656 years. Uses question and answer format to teach students extremely detailed history. Leather on board, front cover torn and hinge but binding intact. Leather worn. Pages 30% foxed but very readable. Fair condition. (0131) $40.00. History/Educational.

Historical Reader, The, designed for the use of schools and families on a new plan; stereotype edition, by Rev. J.L. Blake, A.M., Minister of St. Matthew's Church and Principal of a Literary Seminary, Boston. ca. 1825. Concord, NH: Horatio Hill & Co.  This history starts with the Creation, includes the Deluge, Tower of Babel, Trojan War, Fall of Rome, Gun-powder Treason (Guy Fawkes); Bunker Hill, Battle of Trafalgar, including a very graphic description of the death of Lord Nelson, and ends with a poetic address to The Deity. 372 pp. 11 x 18 cm. Calf on boards, worn, rear board detached, front board hanging by a thread. Text block lightly foxed, solid. Poor. (2427) $33.00. History

Hurricane Sept. 21, 1938, The; Historical and Pictorial, Third Printing by Cawley, William A. 1938 Westerly, RI: Lewis R. Greene. The 1938 Hurricane, which took 136 lives and destroyed 1018 houses from Mystic, CT to Narragansett, RI struck the area on September 21, 1938. Pictorial record of devastation at Watch Hill, Misquamicut, Weekapaug, Quonochontaug and Charlestown, Green Hill to Narragansett, Westerly, Stonington, Mystic. List of people killed at each town; list of cottages and houses destroyed at each location. 56 pp. 22 x 30 cm. Paper booklet with green paper cover, moderate wear, very good.(7698) $29.00. History

Il Diritto, L'arma dell'onesto e' la correttezza! Direttore: Prof. Carlo Francesco Nicolosi, Via Maqueda, 230, Palermo. New York, Maggio 1925, Anno. XIV-- No. 3   by Nicolosi, Prof. Carlo Francesco 1925 New York, NY: Istituto Educativo Salesiano per Orfani di Guerra. Italian-language booklet appeals for contributions to Italian war orphans. Includes a full-page picture of Benito Mussolini: The new Italian dictator was tremendously popular in 1925, just three years after he and his black shirts had marched into Rome.  Included is a receipt for $20 donation from Andrea Romano, in September, 1925. 20 pp. 16 x 24 cm. Paper booklet, cover lightly soiled, very good condition. (5328) $24.00. History

Indians:  Lives of Celebrated American Indians by the Author of Peter Parley's Tales by Goodrich, Samuel G. [Peter Parley] 1843 Boston, MA: Bradbury, Soden & Co. Goodrich proposed three books on the Aborigines of North America-- this one aims to make the reader familiar with the real character and genius of that remarkable and peculiar race of men.  The conquerors and spoilers of America had strong motives for first hating, and then defaming, the Aborigines.  Cortez slaughtered millions and thus sought to justify his conduct by representing the Indians in the most degrading and revolting colors.  Pizarro also covered up his atrocities by representing the people he butchered as ungodly heathen. Among the  celebrated Indians in this volume are Manco Capac, Mayta Capac, Huayna Capac, Atahualpa, Caupolican, Ycholay, Tupac Amaru, Quetzlcoatl, Xolotl, Montezuma I and II, Cofachiqui, Vitachuco, Pocahontas, Philip, Pontiac, Logan, Brant, Tecumseh, Shongmunecuthe, and Black Hawk.  Illustrated.  Frontispiece is drawing of Logan of the Mingo or Cayga tribe. 315 pp. 11 x 17 cm. Marbled paper on board with quarter calf, front cover detached. Signature of “James A. Pirye, Adjutant" stamped on front free endpaper. Some pencil marks on text.  Poor. (2419) $56.00. History

Irish:  Story of the Irish Race, The; A Popular History of Ireland by Seumas MacManus, assisted by Several Irish Scholars, Subscribers' Edition. 1921 New York, NY: The Irish Publishing Co. Probably every Irish family in the United States owned a copy of this book, but from the fresh appearance of this copy, not many eyes have pored over its pages. In 81 Chapters, MacManus covers the Tuatha de Danann, Conor MacNessa, Cuchullain, Cormac MacArt, Fionn and the Fian, the Break of Ulster, Colm Cille, Shane the Proud, Red Hugh, Daniel O'Connell, Catholic Emancipation, Sinn Fein, and much more.  719 pp. 15 x 23 cm. Brown leatherette on boards with gilt lettering, faded on spine.  Front outer hinge cracked slightly. Clipping inserted about St. Clement's high baseball team of South Medford, MA, from about 1921. Good. (3977) $24.00. History/Culture

Istoriya Frantsuzkoi Revolutsii --Kultur'no-Istoricheskaya Biblioteka (History of the French Revolution , from the Cultural-History Library) (In Russian) Edited by K.K. Arsenev. 1897. St. Petersburg, Russia: A.A. Porokhovschikov. Translation into Russian from French sources, this History gives 1897 Russian readers a view of how royalty in France were swept from power. 438 pp. 14.5 x 19.5 cm. Marble boards with leather spine and trim. Poor condition, cover coming loose from binding. (0249) $45.00. History/France.

Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, 25th edition; this is Part second of "France and England in North America" by Parkman, Francis 1888. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company. 463 pp. 14 x 21 cm. This book is a classic.  Parkman used original sources from the Jesuit missionaries to write this study of their work among the North American Indians--the Algonquins, the Hurons, the Iroquois and many more.  He tells about the miserable, deadly existence among the tribes in the dead of winter, when they ate only dried corn and acorns, but about their festivities and customs. He describes the priests saying mass to one group of Indians after another through the day; but also the cannibalism and war parties and treachery of Indians and white men. He tells of the many strange combinations of Indian superstition and Catholic religion, of the "infestation" of witches among the Hurons and Iroquois. He writes about the character of the Canadian Jesuits-- Juan de Brébeuf, Charles Garnier, Joseph Marie Chaumonot, Noël Chabanel, Isaac Jogues.  Persecution of the Jesuits as sorcerers. Includes map of The Country of the Hurons. Maroon cloth on board with gilt lettering, minor wear. Owner name, dated Sept. 5, 1892, on title page, in pencil. Very good. (2738) $36.00. History/Religion

Jews: The Epic of a People, The Story of the Jews by  Addleson, Abraham 1943 New York, NY: Bloch Publishing Co. "The Jewish Book Concern" A South African Jew offers this book as an attempt to interest Jews in the history of their people, particularly young Jewish men and women.  Endpapers provide map of Palestine and neighboring states; rear endpaper shows Land of Canaan of ancient times and present day Palestine (1939).  Concluding chapters relate story of longing to return to Palestine, Theodore Herzl, Balfour Declaration of 1917, Arab Agitation, Plight of Jews in face of German crisis, March 1938 summons of President Roosevelt to the Nations for meeting at Evian-les-Baines, France. 359 pp. 15.5 x 24 cm. Blue cloth on board, 1 x 3 cm piece of cloth missing from upper rh corner of front cover, bookplate from Chelsea Hebrew Free School on  inside front pastedown. No dj. Fair.  (5773) $24.00. History/Judaism

Journal of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Wed. the 6th of January to Sat. the 12th of March, 1808 Perez Morton,  Speaker of the House. Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Activities of the House in session in the Statehouse in Boston. Jan. 8, 1808: Speech of Gov. James Sullivan discusses Commonwealth militia, convulsions in Europe that result in embargoes, and threat of seizure of our ships; regulations for inspection of pickled fish; negotiations with the Penobscot Indians. Report on bill for creation of a Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth, Jan. 16, 1808; Much discussion of activities in the District of Maine, (which later became a State);  Petition by distressed seamen, with discussion as to how it was fraudulently prepared. Discussion on sale of New Hampshire lottery tickets in Massachusetts. Resolution supporting Government of the United States with regard to action opposing violation of neutrality, and outrageous attack on the American frigate Chesapeake. Message from Governor about coastal defense of the Commonwealth. Much discussion on the memorial of Micajah Coffin, a member of the House from Nantucket. Discussion on different degrees of homicide, report by House committee. An act for regulating of the Indian Mulatto and Negro proprietors and inhabitants of the plantation called Mashpee. Bill to cede a piece of land in Kittery to the United States for the purpose of fortification.  324 pp. 15 x 26 cm. Paper on board, spine poor, cover stained, front cover detached, text block very good, (2 x 3 cm piece torn from corner of pp. 151-2.) Some pages unopened. Overall, poor. (5227) $70.00. History.

La Commune de Paris aujourd'hui, sous la coordination de Jacques Zwirn [The Paris Commune Today, in French] 1999 Paris, France: Les Éditions de l'Atelier/Les Éditions Ouvrières. "Une Oeuvre Toujours Au Coeur L'Acualite" par Claude Willard; "Une Monde Que Nous Avons Perdu?" par Michel Caron (CFDT); "Faire Oeuvre de Mémoire" par Louis Viannet (CGT); "La Commune n'est pas Morte" par Marc Blondel (CGT-FO); Eugène Varlin biography; "La Commune de Paris: Un Mythe Fondateur" par René Berthier (Féderation anarchiste, Groupe Février); "Éphémère et Fertile Commune" par Jean-Claude Barbarant (FEN); "Les Maçons, de la Conciliation aux Barricades" par André Combes (Grande Orient de France), "Les Leçons de la Commune de Paris" par Louis Mexandeau (PS); aussi les contributions de Dominique Comelli (FSU), Sylvie Jan (Femmes Solidaires); Pierre Dharréville (JOC); Jean-Jacques Kirkyacharian (MRAP); Fodé Sylla (SOS Racisme), etc. 174 pp. 15.5 x 22 cm. Paper booklet very good. (7959) $45.00. History/Social Commentary

Last Days of Pompeii, The; by the author of "Pelham", "Eugene Aram"; Franklin Library Edition by Bulwer Lytton, Edward 1851. Hartford, CT: S. Andrus & Son. Life in Pompeii, just below Mount Vesuvius in Italy, right before the famous eruption of the volcano in 83 A.D. Book includes dedication to Sir William Gell dated 1834. 266 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Black cloth on board, blindstamped design on cover, gilt lettering on spine. Cloth on spine split in parts. Pp. 175-6 has 2 x 1 cm. piece torn out. Pp. 249-256 loose, Pg. 255-6 has closed tear. Poor. (2969) $30.00. History/Rome

Louisiana:  History of Louisiana, Revised Edition by King, Grace and Ficklen, John R. 1904 New Orleans, LA L. Graham Co., Ltd., 715 Perdido St. Book was prepared as text book for Louisiana school children. Account of the Civil War and of Reconstruction (1865-1875) is bitter, and shows how personally close this all was at the time of writing. 341 pp. 13 x 18.7 cm. Cloth on board, worn and frayed. Several pages contain some scribbling in pencil. Fair to poor condition, but binding firm. (0279) $26.00. History/Educational.

Lynn, MA;  Proceedings in Lynn, Massachusetts, June 17, 1879 Being the 250th Anniversary of the Settlement, embracing the Oration, by Cyrus M. Tracy by Newhall, James R.1880 Lynn, MA: Lynn City Council. This is an account of the Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Lynn, MA.  This "Third Plantation" of Massachusetts was settled on about June 17, 1629. The day of the Celebration opened bright and beautiful, with a parade of the "Antiques and Horribles", which “pursued their vagrant march, with rather rasping attire, through the principal streets... To a certain class, and that by no means a small one, this afforded great attraction." A list of the notables and organizations in the procession is provided. Exercises at Music Hall began after the procession terminated, soon after mid-day.  The Lynn Choral Union sang the National Hymn, "To Thee, O Country". Cyrus M. Tracy, Historian, delivered an oration which detailed the history of Lynn.  Next came a banquet of roast turkey, chicken, beef and pig, and boiled salmon with peas, many cakes, puddings and ice creams and sherbets. No intoxicating liquors were provided.  Part Second of this volume relates the history of Lynn, and provides brief accounts of the Mayors of Lynn, together with facsimiles of their signatures.  It repeats this for Lynn's Town Clerks, then lists the current Aldermen and Common Council members.  Book concludes with a Chronological Table and an Index. Also inserted in book are five newspaper clippings relating to history of Lynn, from about 1956. . 224 pp. 15 x 23 cm. Leather on board with gilt trim, leather on spine worn and bottom 5 cm. is torn, inside back hinge is cracked. Marbled endpapers. Owner's name sticker on inside front pastedown: "Paul T. Curtin".  Fair. (1868) $85.00. History

Madame Tussaud's Exhibition, Coronation Catalogue, 1937 London, England: Madame Tussaud's Exhibition, adj. Baker St. Station, London N.W.1. Special Coronation catalogue, features photos of H.M. King George VI and H.M. Queen Elizabeth on cover. Frontispiece photo shows exterior of Madame Tussaud's Exhibition on Marylebone Road. Outline of History of Madame Tussaud's. Photo of Tussaud's Cinema Lounge where cinema patrons can peruse illustrated papers and take dainty teas.  Catalogue lists location of various famous people, in English, French and German. Photos of wax likeness of Earl Kitchener, Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty Queen Mary, Tableau including Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Haile Selassie, Josef Stalin. 80 pp. 12 x 20 cm. Paper booklet, minor wear to wraps, good. (7523) $30.00. History

Mahomet and His Successors in two volumes by Irving, Washington 1873 Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott & Co. Irving notes that his earlier studies during his ambassadorship in Spain centered on Spanish sources; he uses Arabian and other eastern sources to tell this story. 372, 488 pp. 13 x 19 cm. Half-leather, marbled boards. Leather in spine deteriorated. Marbled endpapers. Text block very good. Overall good. (1472) $20.00. History.

Massachusetts Magazine, The, A quarterly Magazine Devoted to History, Genealogy and Biography. July, 1908. Waters, Rev. Thomas Franklin, Editor. 1908 Salem, MA: The Massachusetts Magazine. "The Idylls of Franklin County" by Rev. Thomas F. Waters. Attack on Deerfield Sept. 1, 1675. Attack of Feb. 29, 1704 on Deerfield settlers by French and Indians.  Cover features photo of George Sheldon, who wrote history of Deerfield. Tipped-in photographs of Memorial Building in Deerfield,  George Sheldon's Home, also Paul Revere's Home in Boston. "Hon. John N. Cole" by John N. McClintock, with photo. "Hon. Louis A. Frothingham" by John N. McClintock, with photo. "Robert Luce" by John N. McClintock, with photo. "Colonel William Prescott's Regiment" by Frank A. Gardner, M.D. "The Old Royall House" at Medford, by Helen Tilden Wild, with tipped in photo. "Personal Diary of Ashley Bowen of Marblehead"  extract of diary kept on voyage from Boston to Halifax. April 1759. ad for New Ocean House, Swampscott. Ad for American Sewage Disposal Co., John N. McClintock, President. Ad for Thomas B. Mosher books. 80 pp. + adv. 18 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, cover lightly soiled, edges frayed, spine chipped, fair. (7333)  $23.00. History/Biography

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