Here’s a wee gift for you.
Three pages written in 1899 with more than 40 million copies printed and sold!
When Elbert Hubbard penned “A Message to Garcia” he called it a “literary trifle – it was written one evening after supper in a single hour.”
And having just read it twice before my cup of green tea had cooled, I’m handing it to my 15-year-old son Joseph tonight so we can discuss it!
Are you familiar with my posts on this website?
Then you’ll know I’m a big fan of Roy H Williams in his ‘WIZARD OF ADS’ persona. All credit for this piece of inspiration goes to Roy: you can find his newsletter here http://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/latest.
On December 1, 1913, a little more than 14 years after Elbert Hubbard wrote “A Message to Garcia,” he penned the following memo:
“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 abandon their comatose state and get radioactive.”
Hubbard went on to say that the article was inspired by an argument with his son, Bert, who suggested that…
“an obscure lieutenant named Rowan was the real hero of the Cuban War” (today known as the Spanish-American War, in which Teddy Roosevelt led his Rough Riders up San Juan Hill).”
Bert’s argument was that Rowan had “gone alone and done the thing — carried the message to Garcia…
“I then got up from the table and wrote ‘A Message to Garcia.’ I thought so little of it that we ran it in the Philistine without a heading.
The edition went out, and soon orders began to come for extra copies. 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.
“The next day a telegram came from George H. Daniels, of the New York Central Railroad: ‘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.”
Hubbard then gave Mr. Daniels permission to reprint the article in his own way, which turned out to be multiple editions of 500,000 copies each.
In addition, the article was reprinted in over two hundred magazines and newspapers, and within fourteen years had been translated into every written language on earth.
Download it here in pdf form (so you can forward it to those you think would value it) now.