From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Goshen, Colonel Ruth

(born: 1824  -  died: 1889) 

Colonel Ruth Goshen, a circus employee who was billed as an 8-foot giant, went by many different names: Ruth, Routh, Deruth and Rutherford. His birthplace was also in question until just prior to his death; circus managers would claim that Goshen was born in Jerusalem, or Prussia, or Turkey, or that he was an African American from Kentucky. Neither his names nor birth locations were correct: Goshen was not Arabic nor African American nor Turkish nor Prussian. Nor was he 8 feet tall. Goshen was about 7'6" tall and his real name was Arthur Crowley [Caley]; he was born on the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea, bordered by England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. For more see "Colonel Ruth Goshen" in American Sideshow: an encyclopedia of history's most wondrous and curiously strange performers, by M. Hartzman; Arthur Caley, at the A Manx Note Book website; and "The Giant is Dead," The New York Times, 02/14/1889, p. 3.


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NKAA Source: American sideshow: an encyclopedia of history’s most wondrous and curiously strange performers
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

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“Goshen, Colonel Ruth,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-08-22 23:56:42