Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard

Infobox Writer
name = Elbert Hubbard

|thumb | caption =
birthdate = birth date|1856|6|19|df=y
birthplace = Bloomington, Illinois1
deathdate = death date and age|1915|5|7|1856|6|19|df=y
deathplace = 8 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland
occupation = Writer, publisher, artist, philosopher
genre =
movement =
influences =
influenced =
website =

Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19 1856 – May 7 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and is, perhaps, most famous for his essay "A Message to Garcia".


He was born in Bloomington, Illinois to Silas Hubbard and Juliana Frances Read and grew up in Hudson, Illinois, where his first business venture was selling Larkin soap products. His innovations for Larkin included premiums and "leave on trial." His best-known work came after he founded Roycroft, an Arts and Crafts movement community in East Aurora, New York in 1895. This grew from his private press, the Roycroft Press, which was inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. (Although called the "Roycroft Press" by latter-day collectors and print historians, the organization called itself "The Roycrofters" and "The Roycroft Shops.")

Hubbard edited and published two magazines, "The Philistine" and "The Fra". "The Philistine" was bound in brown butcher paper and full of satire and whimsy. (Hubbard himself quipped that the cover was butcher paper because "There is meat inside.") The Roycrofters produced handsome, if sometimes eccentric, books printed on handmade paper, and operated a fine bindery, a furniture shop, and shops producing modeled leather and hammered copper goods. They were a leading producer of Mission Style products.

Hubbard's second wife, Alice Moore Hubbard, was a graduate of the New Thought-oriented Emerson College of Oratory in Boston and a noted suffragist, and the Roycroft Shops became a site for meetings and conventions of radicals, freethinkers, reformers and suffragists. Hubbard became a popular lecturer, and his homespun philosophy evolved from a loose William Morris-inspired socialism to an ardent defense of free enterprise and American know-how. Hubbard was much mocked in the press for "selling out."

In 1908 he was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves.cite journal | author=Elbert Hubbard| title=A New Club!| journal=The Fra| issue=January, 1909 to June, 1909] In 1912, the famed passenger liner the "Titanic" was sunk after hitting an iceberg. Hubbard subsequently wrote [Hubbard, Elbert; "The Titanic"; East Aurora, N. Y.: The Roycroft Shops, 1923. Originally published in 1912.] of the disaster, singling out the story of Ida Straus, who as a woman was supposed to be placed on a lifeboat in precedence to the men.So she refused to board the boat: "Not I—I will not leave my husband, she then grabbed a gun from one of the officers and shot him dead. All these years we've traveled together, and shall we part now? No, our fate is one."

Hubbard then added his own stirring commentary: "Mr. and Mrs. Straus, I envy you that legacy of love and loyalty left to your children and grandchildren. The calm courage that was yours all your long and useful career was your possession in death. You knew how to do three great things—you knew how to live, how to love and how to die.

"One thing is sure, there are just two respectable ways to die. One is of old age, and the other is by accident. All disease is indecent. Suicide is atrocious. But to pass out as did Mr. and Mrs. Isador Straus is glorious. Few have such a privilege. Happy lovers, both. In life they were never separated and in death they are not divided." Hubbard and his wife, though he knew it not then, were to have just such a privilege. Little more than three years after the sinking of the "Titanic", the Hubbards boarded "Lusitania" in New York City on May 1 1915. On May 7 1915, while at sea, it was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine "Unterseeboot 20".

In a letter to Elbert Hubbard II dated March 12 1916, Ernest C. Cowper, a survivor of this event, wrote:

Quote|I can not say specifically where your father and Mrs. Hubbard were when the torpedoes hit, but I can tell you just what happened after that. They emerged from their room, which was on the port side of the vessel, and came on to the boat-deck.

Neither appeared perturbed in the least. Your father and Mrs. Hubbard linked arms—the fashion in which they always walked the deck—and stood apparently wondering what to do. I passed him with a baby which I was taking to a lifeboat when he said, 'Well, Jack, they have got us. They are a damn sight worse than I ever thought they were.'

They did not move very far away from where they originally stood. As I moved to the other side of the ship, in preparation for a jump when the right moment came, I called to him, 'What are you going to do?' and he just shook his head, while Mrs. Hubbard smiled and said, 'There does not seem to be anything to do.' The expression seemed to produce action on the part of your father, for then he did one of the most dramatic things I ever saw done. He simply turned with Mrs. Hubbard and entered a room on the top deck, the door of which was open, and closed it behind him.

It was apparent that his idea was that they should die together, and not risk being parted on going into the water.

The Roycroft Shops, run by Hubbard's son, Elbert Hubbard II, operated until 1938.

The American science fiction writer and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a nephew of Elbert by the adoption of his father into the Hubbard family. [cite web | title=No Fear | author=AdonisEsquire | url=http://www.43things.com/entries/view/797340] cite video | people=L. Ron Hubbard | title= [http://www.amazon.com/Special-Course-in-Human-Evaluation/dp/1403111014 Special Course in Human Evaluation] | medium=CD | publisher=Bridge Publications | date=1951 | location=Wichita, Kansas]

Posthumous renown

Owing to his prolific publications, Hubbard was a renowned figure in his day. Contributors to a 360-page book published by Roycrofters and entitled "" included such luminaries as meat-packing magnate J. Ogden Armour, business theorist and Babson College founder Roger Babson, botanist and horticulturalist Luther Burbank, seed-company founder W. Atlee Burpee, ketchup magnate Henry J. Heinz, National Park Service founder Franklin Knight Lane, success writer Orison Swett Marden, inventor of the modern comic strip Richard F. Outcault, poet James Whitcomb Riley, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elihu Root, evangelist Billy Sunday, political leader Booker T. Washington, and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Hubbard is an ancestor of singer Brodie Foster Hubbard. Another book which was written by Mr. Hubbard is entitled "Health and Wealth". It was published in 1908 and includes many short truisms that are in line with the Truth movement and Transcendentalists concerning using intelligence to rid one of fear and, thus, to bring the body back to health and happiness which leads to true wealth through service to others.


* "Responsibility is the price of freedom."
* "Men are not punished for their sins, but by them."
* "The Supernatural is the natural not yet understood."
* "An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness."
* "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
* "A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience."
* "Every tyrant who has lived has believed in freedom—for himself."
* "Life is just one damned thing after another."
* "Never explain—your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."
* "To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
* "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."
* "The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
* “Health Must be Earned. Get it, you Lobster!” [ [http://archive.groovy.net/dl/Lobster/ Mystery Postcard ] at archive.groovy.net]
* "One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." [ [http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Machine Machine - Wikiquote ] at en.wikiquote.org]
* "The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher."
* "We preserve our sanity only as we forget self in service."
* "What we call diseases are merely symptoms of mental conditions."
* "You can lead a boy to college, but you can't make him think."
* "Theology: An attempt to explain a subject by men who do not understand it. The intent is not to tell the truth but to satisfy the questioner."
* "Religions are many and diverse, but reason and goodness are one."
* "If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate."
* "We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them."
* “He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”
* "I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I cannot appreciate."
* "The love we give away is the only love we keep ."
* “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.”

Further reading

* John H. Martin, " [http://www.crookedlakereview.com/books/saints_sinners/martin15.html Elbert G. Hubbard: Roycroft Arts and Crafts]
*Upton Sinclair "The Brass Check" (1919), chapter "The Elbert Hubbard Worm"

ee also

*Hubbard House (Illinois)


5. ^ "Art & Glory: The Story of Elbert Hubbard," by Freeman Champney, Crown Publishers Inc., N.Y., 1968

External links

* [http://www.bobolinkbooks.com/DesignHist/Roycroft.html Elbert Hubbard, Dard Hunter and the Roycroft Workshops]
* [http://www.roycrofter.com/ The Roycrofter Website]
* [http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=elbert%20hubbard%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts Books by Elbert Hubbard] A large collection of the original printings (not transcripts) available online in various formats
* [http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections/manuscripts The Elbert Hubbard papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin]
* [http://city-journal.org/html/17_2_urbanities-elbert_hubbard.html 2007 "City Journal" article on Hubbard]
* [http://www.bigeye.com/elberth.htm Elbert Hubbard of East Aurora]
* [http://www.crookedlakereview.com/newsocietygenesee/visits/0602roycroft.html A Visit to the Elbert Hubbard Museum in East Aurora, New York] by Donovan A. Shilling
* [http://www.janelanaweb.com/manageme/carta_garcia.html A message to Garcia]
* [http://hightechbiz.com/pub/messagetogarcia.htm A message to Garcia]
* [http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/elbert_hubbard.html Elbert Hubbard Quotes]
* [http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/2216/clsctexts/Hubbard_Lusitania.htm Text of the Ernest Cowper letter on the Hubbards' last hour]
* [http://www.hricik.com/Roycroft/Fras/111915/Books1.jpgAd for In Memoriam: Elbert and Alice Hubbard]
* [http://findingaid.winterthur.org/html/HTML_Finding_Aids/COL0254.htm The Winterthur Library] Overview of an archival collection on Elbert Hubbard.
* [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Hubbard%20Collection/ Hubbard Collection] is located at the [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/ Special Collections/Digital Library] in [http://library.villanova.edu/ Falvey Memorial Library] at Villanova University.

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