Arthur James Caley, aka 'The Middlebush Giant' Begins Performing at Barnum's American Museum
Arthur James Caley or Routh Goshen (May 5, 1837 - February 12, 1889) was most commonly known as Colonel Routh Goshen, but this was a stage name that was created by Phineas Taylor Barnum.
He was billed as the tallest man in the world at 7 ft, 11 inches (2.41 m) and 620 pounds (280 kg) but was most likely no more than 7 ft, 5 inches (2.26 m) and 400 pounds (180 kg). While his birth name and date of birth were kept a secret, a letter that surfaced indicated that his birth name was Arthur James Caley and he was born on the Isle of Man in 1827. Others sources said he was born in Jerusalem on May 5, 1837. His true origins are still obscured by the many apocryphal biographies that were created to publicize him.
Colonel Routh Goshen, the giant, who used to be one of the attractions of Barnum's show, died at his farm at Clyde, New Jersey, February 12th. He was, it is said, a mulatto born in this country, though he passed in the show bills for being Belgian. He was about 70 years old and was seven feet, two inches in height, two feet, six inches across the shoulders, 28 inches through the chest, and his weight was 630 pounds. He was thrifty and accumulated quite a little property. The farm house of the dead giant was thronged with villagers long before the hour fixed for the funeral. The remains had been placed in a coffin eight feet long and three feet wide. It was covered with cloth and had been specially made for the deceased.
After the funeral services were over the coffin was borne on the shoulder of eight sturdy farmers to a wagon which was standing in the road about 100 yards from the house. Undertaker Van Duyn said he could not find a hearse large enough to hold the giant's coffin. The pall bearers had a hard struggle in carrying the remains down the incline leading from the house to the road and when they deposited the coffin in the wagon, beads of perspiration stood out on their foreheads. A large crowd followed the remains to the Middlebush cemetery, where the interment took place. Colonel Goshen left an estate valued at about $10,000. He was married three times and divorced twice. He left his property to his married daughter, with whom he resided. One of his wives, who resided in Elgin, Illinois, will, it is said, contest the giant's will.