Register of the Andrew Summers Rowan papers

Finding aid prepared by Paige Minister
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
hooverarchives@stanford.edu
© 2009, 2016


Title: Andrew Summers Rowan papers
Date (inclusive): 1730-1940
Date (bulk): 1898-1930
Collection Number: 45008
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: English, Spanish; Castilian, and Italian
Physical Description: 6 manuscript boxes, 6 oversize boxes (8.4 linear feet)
Abstract: Writings, correspondence, military orders, maps, photographs, clippings, and reports relating to the exploit of Andrew Summers Rowan in carrying the "message to Garcia" during the Spanish-American War, and to other American military activities in Cuba and in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Rowan, Andrew Summers, 1857-1943.

Access

Collection is open for research.
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Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Andrew Summers Rowan papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1945.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the library catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical Note

Andrew Summers Rowan was born April 23, 1857 in Gap Mills, Virginia. He graduated from West Point in 1881 and was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. With his regiment he served on various special projects, including inspecting the Mississippi River flood of 1897. From 1891-1892, Rowan was in charge of barometric hypsometry for the Intercontinental Railway Survey in Central America, which brought him to Guatemala and Mexico. In 1896, Rowan, along with coauthor Marathon Montrose Ramsey, published the book The Island of Cuba: A Descriptive and Historical Account of the “Great Antilla.”
Prior to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, President William McKinley asked Colonel Arthur L. Wagner if he knew of someone who could get a message to General Calixto García, a leader among the Cuban rebels, whose whereabouts were then unknown. Anticipating that war with Spain would soon be declared, President McKinley wanted to reach out to the Cuban insurgents in hopes of gaining their allegiance. Col. Wagner recommended Rowan for the task, and he was sent to Jamaica to await further instruction.
On April 21, 1898, the same day the US officially declared war with Spain, Rowan received a ciphered cablegram telling him to join García. After making the treacherous journey to Cuba, Rowan successfully located García at his camp in the Oriente Mountains, where he gained the General’s favor and was able to secure valuable information about the Spanish forces in Cuba. Additionally, General García sent five of his men back with Rowan to Washington, D.C. in order to give the US additional intelligence information.
Rowan was highly regarded for the role he played in the war by meeting with General García, known as “the message to García.” In 1899, Elbert Hubbard published A Message to Garcia, a short essay praising Rowan’s mission in Cuba and lamenting the difficulty in finding employees who complete assignments efficiently, take initiative when challenges arise, and follow instructions without question. The essay became extremely popular, especially among schoolteachers, industry employers, and the military. It was translated into several languages and was the inspiration for two motion pictures of the same title, the first produced in 1916 and the second in 1936. Additionally, the phrase “to take a message to García” became a popular American slang term for taking initiative. Rowan wrote his own account of his mission to Cuba, How I Carried the Message to García, published in 1922.
Following his mission to find General García, Rowan briefly returned to Cuba before completing two tours of service in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection, also known as the Philippine-American War. He served in the region of Cebu from 1899 to 1900 and in Bohol from 1900 to 1902. He was awarded the Silver Star Citation for his gallantry during the attack on Sudlon Mountain in Cebu and received the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in Cuba. Rowan retired from the military in 1909 and died on January 10, 1943 in San Francisco.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Andrew Summers Rowan papers contain writings, correspondence, military orders, maps, photographs, clippings, and reports relating to Rowan's exploit in carrying the "message to Garcia" during the Spanish-American War, and to other American military activities in Cuba and in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. The collection contains material dating from 1730 to 1940, with the majority dating from 1898 to 1930.
A majority of the material found in the collection pertains to Rowan’s mission to meet with General Calixto García in April of 1898 and the recognition he received from it. The Cuba section of the Military File contains items from Rowan’s exploit to Cuba deemed as being particularly significant by him that he arranged in numerical order. Among these materials are Rowan’s official report of the mission which he wrote in 1922, a handwritten letter General García wrote to the U.S. Secretary of War that Rowan delivered upon his return from Cuba (Box/Folder 3:12), and ciphered cablegrams Rowan received while in Jamaica awaiting orders to join General García in Cuba (Box/Folder 3:11). Copies of deciphered cablegrams (Box/Folder 2:2) and other correspondence Rowan received during this mission can be found in the Correspondence series. Additionally, maps of Cuba that Rowan used during his mission can be found in the Oversize Material series.
Clippings and ephemera relating to Rowan’s exploit in Cuba are included in multiple scrapbooks located in the Scrapbooks series. These scrapbooks also contain clippings regarding anniversaries of Rowan’s mission to Cuba and Elbert Hubbard’s essay A Message to García. For a printed copy of Hubbard’s essay, see the Printed Matter series. Drafts of Rowan’s own account of his experience in Cuba, How I Carried the Message to García, are located in Writings.
Rowan’s military service in Bohol and Cebu during the Philippine-American War is documented in the Writings, Military File, Photographs, and Scrapbooks series. The Oversize Material series also contains maps, flags, and a handkerchief captured by Rowan while in the Philippines.
Additionally, the collection includes material relating to Rowan’s early military career, including hypsometric work in Guatemala, which can be found in the Journals and Photographs series.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

United States. Army--Officers.
Cuba--History--Revolution, 1895-1898.
Philippines--History--Insurrection, 1899-1902.
Spanish-American War, 1898.

 

Biographical File, 1730-1940, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence, articles, ephemera, and other material related to Rowan's life, especially to his mission to Cuba to meet with General Calixto García and to Rowan's own research into his family history. Arranged alphabetically by form or item title. For additional biographical material, see: Scrapbooks.
Box/Folder 1 : 1-2

Genealogical research material, 1730-1926

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence and other material related to Rowan's research on his family history. Also included are requests from encyclopedias for biographical information.
Box/Folder 1 : 3-4

Magazine articles, 1898-1940

Scope and Contents note

Contains various magazines featuring articles about Rowan and his time in Cuba.
Box/Folder 1 : 5

Major Summers Rowan, A West Virginian: The Man Who Carried the Message to García, 1925 December 21

Box/Folder 1 : 6

Military epaulette, undated

Box/Folder 1 : 7

Miscellaneous, 1885-1929

Scope and Contents note

Contains military rosters, event programs, and pamphlets from various organizations Rowan belonged to. Many of the pamphlets feature short articles about Rowan and his time in Cuba.
 

Journals, 1891-1898, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains handwritten journals kept by Rowan during his military service in Guatemala and during his second trip to Cuba after returning from his meeting with General García. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder 1 : 8

Undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains three handwritten journals containing Rowan's notes about Guatemala. Pages are numbered consecutively, beginning with page 121. Volume 1 containing pages 1-120 is not included in the collection.
Box/Folder 1 : 9

"Volcanic Cones and Craters of Guatemala," 1891-1892

Scope and Contents note

Contains notes made by Rowan while conducting hypsometric work for the Central American Party of the Intercontinental Railway Survey.
Box/Folder 2 : 1

"From Gibara, Cuba," 1898 September 5

 

Correspondence, 1857-1936

Scope and Contents note

Contains letters sent and received by Rowan from a variety of individuals, including Senator Hugh Ike Shott. The majority of the correspondence are messages of admiration for Rowan's work in delivering the message to García and requests for more information about his experiences or to talk at an event.
Box/Folder 2 : 2

General, 1857-1936

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence from the son of Elbert Hubbard and copies of the deciphered messages that were sent to Rowan during his mission to Cuba. Also included are letters written in 1898 between different Cuban officials, including a letter written by General García to General Lope Recio Loynaz.
Box/Folder 2 : 3

Shott, Hugh Ike, 1931 December

Scope and Contents note

Includes a copy of the Congressional Record from December 21 in which Senator Shott spoke about Rowan.
Box/Folder 2 : 4

"Talks and Invitations to Talk," 1916-1929

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence relating to invitations asking Rowan to speak at various schools and other organizations.
 

Writings, 1916-1922, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains written and typescript drafts of manuscripts written by Rowan. Also included are various versions of Rowan's personal account of his mission to Cuba, How I Carried the Message to García, as well as the final print version. Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically thereunder.
Box/Folder 2 : 5-7

"The Conquest of Cebu," undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains drafts, notes, and correspondence. Also includes a captured proclamation from Filipino General Arcadio Maxilom y Molero.
Box/Folder 2 : 8

"How to Win the War and Keep the Peace: An Easterner's Solution of the Strategic Impasse in the West," draft, undated

Box/Folder 2 : 9-11

"Our Waterways: How to Use Them, How to Defend Them," manuscript, undated

Box/Folder 3 : 1

"Pacifism and Its Cure - Universal Training," undated

Box/Folder 3 : 2

"A Strategical Study of the Mexican Terrain, 1911," undated

Box/Folder 3 : 3

"An Unknown Corner of Our Moro Land," undated

Box/Folder 3 : 4

"A Pragmatic History of Mexico," 1916-1922, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains sketches of maps, notes, and research materials for a project that was never completed.
 

How I Carried the Message to García, circa 1922, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains several different versions of Rowan's account of his journey to Cuba to meet General Calixto García. Different drafts of his account contain slightly different titles and vary in length. Also included is a print version published in 1922 and a script Rowan wrote based on How I Carried the Message to García.
Box/Folder 3 : 5

Draft, undated

Box/Folder 3 : 6

"How I Carried President McKinley's Message to General García: The Results and Consequences," typescript, undated

Box/Folder 3 : 7

Print copy, 1922

Box/Folder 3 : 8

"Scenario," circa 1922

Scope and Contents note

Draft of a script based on How I Carried the Message to García. Maps and photographs referenced on the first page of the file are not included.
 

Military File, 1898-1927, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence, official reports, notes, captured documents, maps, and other material used and received by Rowan during his military service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. For additional material related to Rowan's military career, see: Scrapbooks and Oversize Material.
 

Cuba, 1898-1927

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence, reports, sketches, articles, and other materials related to Rowan's mission to Cuba, which were organized and numbered by him. Most of the files also include short descriptions of the material written by Rowan. Arranged according to the original order of files, then alphabetically by form.
Box/Folder 3 : 9

1. Letter and special passport, 1898 March 28

Box/Folder 3 : 10

2. Letters from War Department, 1898 March - April

Box/Folder 3 : 11

3. Ciphered cablegrams, 1898 April - May

Box/Folder 3 : 12

4. Original letter from García, 1898 May 1

Scope and Contents note

Contains the original handwritten letter to the U.S. Secretary of War, as well as typescript copies.
Box/Folder 3 : 13

5. Maps and unfinished sketch of Cuba, 1898

Box/Folder 3 : 14

6. Official report of Rowan's mission to General Calixto García, 1922

Box/Folder 3 : 15

7. Copies of Cuban insurgent newspapers, 1898 April

Scope and Contents note

Contains an issue of La Independencia and an issue of El Cubano Libre.
Box/Folder 3 : 16

8. Report of General Nelson A. Miles, 1898

Scope and Contents note

Refers to Rowan's services in Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898.
Box/Folder 3 : 17

9. "25 Years After," New York Times, 1923 January 14

Box/Folder 3 : 18

10. "Color Palette of the Caribbean," 1927 January

Box/Folder 3 : 19

11. "Lieutenant-Colonel Rowan's Exploit," 1898 July 2

Box/Folder 3 : 20

Military maps of Cuba, 1898

Box/Folder 3 : 21

Sketches of mountains, 1898

 

Philippines, 1898-1901, undated

Scope and Contents note

Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder 3 : 22

Cebu, 1898, 1901, undated

Scope and Contents note

See also: "The Conquest of Cebu" in Writings.
Box/Folder 3 : 23

"Daily notes of military service," 1899 July - October

Box/Folder 3 : 24

Bohol, 1901, undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes memoranda and correspondence relating to a controversy surrounding Rowan and his possible involvement with the burning of a village in Bohol.
 

Photographs, 1881-1900, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains images of Guatemala, the Philippines, and the 1897 Mississippi River flood taken throughout Rowan's military activities. Also included are portraits of some of Rowan's friends.
Box/Folder 3 : 25

"Friends of Col. Andrew Summers Rowan," 1881-1891, undated

Box/Folder 4 : 1

Guatemala, circa 1891

Scope and Contents note

Contains images of coffee plantations and various unidentified persons and landscapes.
Box/Folder 4 : 2

Mississippi River flood, 1897

Scope and Contents note

Photographs collected by Rowan during an inspection of the flood he conducted with the U.S. Army.
Box/Folder 4 : 3

Philippine Islands, circa 1900

Scope and Contents note

Includes images of Rowan with the 19th Infantry.
Box/Folder 4 : 4-9, Box 5, Box/Folder 6 : 1, Boxes 7-10

Scrapbooks, 1898-1934

Scope and Contents note

Contains 15 scrapbooks mainly comprised of clippings relating to Rowan's mission to Cuba, his military service in the Philippines, and Elbert Hubbard's essay A Message to Garcia. Some correspondence and ephemera are also included in select scrapbooks.
The majority of the scrapbooks are untitled with overlapping date ranges and topics. Some scrapbooks were numbered by Rowan and contain short descriptions on the cover of what they contain; however, there are gaps in the sequence. Scrapbooks are arranged according to Rowan's numerical assignments and size, then chronologically thereunder.
Of particular note in this series are: scrapbook #6 (Box/Folder 5:1), which contains clippings relating to Rowan's service in the region of Bohol and the investigation he underwent for the burning of a local village; scrapbook #7 (Box/Folder 5:2), which contains clippings relating to Rowan's service in Cebu and the Sudlon mountains; the scrapbook titled "All's Well That Ends Well" (Box/Folder 5:7), which includes a letter written by Rowan to Colonel Arthur L. Wagner, dated May 16, 1898, that gives a full account of his mission to Cuba; and the scrapbook found in Box/Folder 6:1, which contains clippings relating to the Distinguished Service Cross Rowan received on August 28, 1922.
Boxes 11-12

Oversize Material, 1888-1904, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains flags, a handkerchief, and maps collected and used by Rowan during his time in Cuba and the Philippines.
 

Captured flags and handkerchief, circa 1900

Scope and Contents note

Seven flags and a handkerchief with embroidered initials "E. A." that were captured during Rowan's tours in the Philippines. Includes two National Flags of the Philippines, also known as the Three Stars and a Sun, with handpainted designs. This flag was first adopted in 1898 and designed by Emilio Aguinaldo, first president of the Philippines.
 

Maps, 1888-1904, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains maps captured, drawn, or used by Rowan during his military service in Cuba and the Philippines. Includes maps of Cuba printed on cloth and issued by the War Department in 1898; hand drawn maps captured and used by Rowan during his time in Bohol (Bojol); a map of the Maneuver District near American Lake, Washington created from information gathered during a survey of the area led by Rowan in 1904; and several copies of a sketch map showing the insurgent positions in the Bujisan (Bocaue) Mountains in Cebu, Philippines created from a sketch Rowan made in 1899.
 

Printed Matter, 1891-1938, undated

Scope and Contents note

Contains clippings, books, and published reports.
Box/Folder 6 : 2-4

Clippings, 1913-1938, undated

Box/Folder 6 : 5

General Descriptive Data booklets on Centeral America, 1917, 1919

Scope and Contents note

Includes booklets on Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Also includes a photograph of an unidentified location.
Box/Folder 6 : 6

La Guerra Ispano-Americana del 1898, undated

Box/Folder 6 : 7

Hubbard, Elbert, A Message to García, 1926

Scope and Contents note

Includes an inscription from Rowan to General Carlos Hernández. This published version also includes excerpts from press articles about Rowan's trip to deliver the message to García.
Box/Folder 6 : 8

Informe de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores a la Asamblea Legislativa acerca de la captura y muerte del General J. Martín Barrundia , 1891

Box/Folder 6 : 9

Poillon, Arthur, Report on the Celebes Islands (Netherlands Indies), 1906

Box/Folder 6 : 10

Report of Major R. K. Evans, Assistant Adjutant-General, United States Army, Chief Umpire Maneuver Division, 1904