George Alfred Caldwell (1865-1911)

George Alfred Caldwell (born in Louisville, Kentucky in about 1865) was arrested in 1903, along with several other man, during a raid by the police at the Ariston Baths in New York City. This is the first known police raid upon a gay establishment in New York. George originally gave the police the alias of George Galbert, the name under which he was charged and eventually sentenced to seven years in prison. After his sentence his true identity was discovered and it was learned that he was the progenitor of a wealthy and highly influential Louisville, Kentucky family. His father had been the Hon. Isaac Caldwell, a lawyer of Louisville and his uncle had been George Alfred Caldwell, a member of the US House of Representatives for Kentucky. Although his parents died several years before, and his brother Robert died of typhoid fever in Manila while he was in prison, his two sisters came to his aid. Marguerite, who would later become a correspondent for Pearson's Magazine, lived with him in New York and watched after his interests while his other sister Catherine Caldwell Patton, appealed to her old friend Alice Roosevelt, daughter of President Roosevelt, for help. Through her father influence Alice managed to secure a pardon from Gov. Odell for George. He was released in October 1903, serving only 3 months in jail. I have found no record of George after his release other than that he died October 19, 1911 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.


Newspaper Articles

The Breckenridge News (Cloverport, Kentucky) - September 16, 1903

Brother of Mrs. Patton Dead

Washington, Sept. 11 - Lieut. Robert A. Caldwell, of Louisville, died August 17 at Manila of dysentery. He enlisted at Washington City May 1, 1899, and was assigned to Troop C, Fourth Cavalry. "Bobby" Caldwell, as he was called in Louisville, was one of the best known and most popular young men of that city. He was a son of the late Isaac Palmer Caldwell and was a brother of Architect Geo. Caldwell, Mr. Wm. Caldwell, Attorney Isaac Palmer Caldwell and Mrs. Geo. C. Patton, who has resided in this city for the last few months with Mr. Patton.

The Sun (New York City, New York) - November 19, 1903

Gov. Odell Acts Without Consulting Prosecutor

Seven Years' Sentence of Caldwell, Alias Galbert, Cut Down to 3 Months - This Was Done on Oct. 28 - District Attorney's Office Heard of It Only Yesterday.

Gov. Odell has pardoned George "Galbert," who is said to be a grandson of a Kentucky Governor, who was convicted last summer before Recorder Goff in the General Sessions after his arrest in the Ariston Baths raid, on evidence such that he was sentenced to State prison, along with Walter Bennett, for seven years and two months.

The usual course of procedures was not followed and although the sentence was commuted on Oct. 28, no announcement was made of it. The District Attorney did not hear of it until last night, when a Sun reporter informed Assistant District Attorney Ely, the prosecutor.

Although "Galbert" on the witness stand told what his real name was, he went to trial under the name of Galbert and was sentenced under that name.

"I had him give his real name," said Mr. Ely last night, "because I thought that the fact that he had given an assumed name upon his arrest and had stuck to it throughout subsequent proceedings, indicated that he was a guilty man. Prominent New Yorkers called on me to intercede for him. One man connected with a downtown law firm of prominence asked me to let up on him. I replied that it was a wrong thing for him to ask."

"It is said that John G. Carlisle came to inquire about the case."

"I saw him in the corridors. When he learned that Galbert's companion had pleaded guilty, I guess he abandoned any idea of interceding. I shall not tell you Galbert's name, even though it is of court record. I understand that he is a grandson of a Kentucky Governor."

Stenographer Frank Beard, who reported the Galbert trial, said last night that Galbert said in court that his name was George Caldwell.

The news of the commutation of the sentence reached New York through a member of the law firm of Sullivan, Goldsmith & Engel, who heard it at Sing Sing while visiting a client. When, Assistant District Attorney Nott was informed of it he said:

"I understand that Gov. Odell is also determined to pardon Frank S. Weller, secretary and treasurer of the Horse Shoe Copper Mining Company. That is the concern with which Larry Summerfield was connected, and in connection with which he was convicted recently before Justice Davis in the Criminal Branch of the Supreme Court and was sent to Sing Sing. Weller was the guiltiest man of the whole crew. He was convicted months ago, and is now out of jail on a certificate of reasonable doubt. Mr. Buchanan, one of the victims of the Horse Shoe Copper Mining Company swindle, says that he learned form the Governor the other day that Weller is to be pardoned if the Appeliate Division affirms his conviction. The rumor that Gov. Odell intended to pardon Weller reached this office last spring about the time that we were also informed that he would not commute the sentence of Syndicate Miller, whose testimony enabled us to convict the long-immune Col. Bob Ammon. Assistant District Attorney Train went to Buffalo and met Gov. Odell there, and represented the Weller case to him in its true colors. Gov. Odell didn't say what he would do. Subsequently, Weller got out on a certificate of reasonable doubt issued by Supreme Court Justice Blanchard. His counsel had agreed not to apply for such a certificate while his case was pending before the Appeliate Division, providing that we agreed not to prosecute him on two indictments we have up our sleeves. Then they sprung an application on us and would not consent to an adjournment. Justice Blanchard granted the certificate, and Weller is at liberty. I think we'll try him on the indictments yet untried"

"Galbert" reached Sing Sing on July 31, and therefore had served about three months when he was released on Oct. 28.

San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - November 20, 1903

Political Pull Saves a Felon

NEW YORK, Nov. 19 - A man sentenced to serve seven years in Sing Sing under the name of George Galbert, but who is said to be the grandson of a former Governor of Kentucky, is reported to have been pardoned after having served three months. Galbert was captured with several others in a police raid on the Ariston baths in this city. He pleaded guilty to a serious charge and was given the extreme penalty under the law.

The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) - November 20, 1903


New York, Nov. 20 - A man sentenced to serve seven years in Sing Sing under the name of "George Galbart," but who is said to be the grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, is reported to have been pardoned after having served three months. "Galbart" was captured with several others in a police raid on the Aristion baths in this city. He pleaded guilty to a serious charge and was given the extreme penalty.

Saint Paul Globe (St. Paul, Minnesota) - December 1, 1903


Miss Alice Roosevelt Secures the Pardon of George Caldwell


NEW YORK, Nov. 30 - In obtaining the pardon of "George Galbert," a convict who in reality is George Caldwell, a member of a prominent Kentucky family, President Roosevelt for the fourth time has used his influence to aid the Caldwell family. His friendship for the Caldwells and their relatives is said to be due to the influence of his daughter Alice, who is a friend of Katherine Caldwell, sister of George.

George Caldwell once regarded as one of the best architects in Kentucky, began drinking and went from bad to worse. His sister Margaret brought him to New York and got him a position in an architect's office. He had stopped drinking, rose to an excellent position and for the first time since their parents' death the Caldwell girls were in comfort.

George was supporting these sisters and they believed him all that he represented himself to be when he was arrested last July and sent to Sing Sing to serve seven years for immoral practices. President Roosevelt met the Caldwell children's father when he was in Louisville to consult John Mason Brown about a book he was writing.

The Nebraska Advertiser (Nemaha City, Nebraska) - December 4, 1903

Pardoned Through Alice Roosevelt

New York, Dec. 1.— In obtaining the pardon of "George Galbert," a convict, who in reality is George Caldwell, a member of a prominent Kentucky family, President Roosevelt for the fourth time has used his influence to aid the Caldwell family. His friendship for the Caldwells and their relatives is said to be due to the influence of his daughter Alice, who is a friend of Katherine Caldwell, sister of George.

Hickman Courier (Hickman, Kentucky) - June 14, 1907

[note: this might not be the same family]

Roney & Smith, attorneys for Alice Caldwell vs. Western Union Telegraph Co. received notice this week that the Court of Appeals had sustained the decision of the Fulton Circuit Court awarding plaintiff damages for delay in transmission of message, notifying her of the death of her brother. It seems from the evidence that a message had been sent in due time to the plaintiff concerning the death of her brother at Newark, Ark., but the message failed to reach her and burial was made at Newark, whereas had she received the word different arrangements would have been made for interment. Hence, the verdict.


The Kentucky Encyclopedia, by. John E. Kleber

CALDWELL, ISAAC. Isaac Caldwell, attorney and third president of the University of Louisville, was born on June 30, 1824, near Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky, the son of William and Anne (Trabue) Caldwell. He attended Georgetown College, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He practiced law in Columbia, first with Judge Zachariah Wheat, then with his brother, U. S. Congressman George Alfred Caldwell. In 1852 they moved their office to Louisville, where Caldwell became one of the city's most successful criminal lawyers.

In 1870 Caldwell championed the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and its business interests when the Kentucky legislature considered giving a central Kentucky right-of-way to the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, a likely challenger of the L&N in the southern trade. In 1872 Caldwell opposed the primacy of federal authority in Kentucky civil rights matters when he argued the case of Blyew v. United States before the U. S. Supreme Court.

During Caldwell's service as president of the University of Louisville (1869-1885), the university's medical department joined the American Medical College Association (founded in 1876) and raised its standards for admission and graduation. As he was seriously ill in his last year, he called meetings of the board of trustees at his home.

Caldwell married Catherine Smith of Louisville on January 20, 1857. He died November 25, 1885, and was buried in Louisville's St. Louis Cemetery. An editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal on the day after his death stated that Caldwell left "no equal behind him at the bar whose recognized he was [for] so long." - William J. Morison

Census Records

District 2 of Adair County, Kentucky - September 24, 1850

House Name Age Occupation Real Estate Value Born
691 George A. Caldwell 36 lawyer $1,600 Kentucky
692 Junius Caldwell 30 Cir. Court Clerk $165 Kentucky
Thomas J. Poor 20 Deputy Lt. Kentucky
693 Isaac Caldwell 26 lawyer Kentucky

East Side 5th St, Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky - June 1, 1880

Name Relation Age Color Occupation Born
Issac Caldwell Head 54 white atty at law Kentucky
Kate Caldwell wife 41 white keeping house Kentucky
Issac Caldwell son 22 white atty at law Kentucky
Mary Caldwell daughter 18 white Kentucky
Geo A. Caldwell son 15 white at school Kentucky
Robt A. Caldwell son 8 white at school Kentucky
Kattie Caldwell daughter 6 white at school Kentucky
Wm E. Caldwell son 4 white at home Kentucky
Alice C. Caldwell daughter 2 white at home Kentucky
Richard Campbell servant 39 mulatto servant
Mary Pope servant 48 black servant
Lewis Nelson servant 54 black servant
Jane Curr servant 31 white servant
Florance Anderson servant 26 white servant

101 65th Street, Manhattan, New York, New York - June 11, 1900

Name Relation Born Description Parents Immigration Occupation
George A. Caldwell Head Nov 1864 in Kentucky single white male born Kentucky architect
Marguerite Caldwell Sister July 1877 in Kentucky single white female born Kentucky
Annie Concline? Servant April 1878 in Ireland single white female born Ireland 1899 servant

City Directories

Louisville, Kentucky

1883: Caldwell, George A., bds 729 5th
1883: Caldwell, Isaac, lawyer, 519 W. Jefferson, r 729 5th
1883: Caldwell, Isaac Palmer, lawyer, 519 W. Jefferson, r 729 5th
1883: Caldwell, Junius, lawyer, 518 W. Jefferson, r 1214 2d

1884: Caldwell, George A., student r 729 5th
1884: Caldwell, Isaac, lawyer, 518 W. Jefferson, r 729 5th
1884: Caldwell, Isaac Palmer, lawyer, 519 W. Jefferson, r 729 5th
1884: Caldwell, Junius, lawyer, 518 W. Jefferson, r 1214 2d

1885: Caldwell, Isaac, lawyer, 518 W. Jefferson, r 729 5th
1885: Caldwell, Junius, lawyer, 518 W. Jefferson, r 1214 2d

1886: Caldwell, George A., draughtsman Henry Wolters r108 3d

Passport Application

Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell: New York City - July 29, 1916

Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell


I, Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell, a NATIVE and LOYAL CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, hereby apply to the Department of State, at Washington, for a passport. I solemnly swear that I was born at Louisville, in the State of Kentucky, on or about the 6th day of July, 1883 that my father Hon. Isaac Caldwell, was born in Kentucky; that he emigrated to the United States from the port of (blank), on or about (blank), 1xxx; that he resided (blank) years, uninterruptedly, in the United States, from 1xxx to 1xxx, at (blank); that he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States before the (blank) Court of (blank), at (blank), on (blank), 1xxx, as shown by the accompanying Certificate of Naturalization]; that I am domiciled in the United States, my permanent residence being at 9 East 44th st, City of New York in the State of N. York, where I follow the occupation of none; that I am about to go abroad temporarily; and I intend to return to the United States within 6 months with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein; and that I desire a passport for use in visiting the countries hereinafter named for the following purpose: Great Britain, Aid Lady Ross at her hospital in Scotland. I intend to leave the United States from the port of New York sailing on board the New York on August 5th, 1916.

(signed) Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell
Sworn to before me this 29th day of July, 1916
Mr. Merryman

Age: 33 Years
Stature: 5 feet, 2 inches
Forehead: high
Eyes: grey
Nose: sunk
Mouth: full
Chin small round
Hair: high brown
Complexion: fair
Face: round

I, Paul Cooksey, solemnly swear that I am a native citizen of the United States; that I reside at New York City (609 W. 127th; that I have known the above Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell personally for four years and know her to be a native citizen of the United States; and that the facts stated in her affidavit are true to the best of my knowledge and belief:
(signed) Paul Cooksey, 609 W 127th Street, New York

Notarized deposition from sister Katherine Caldwell Patton


Katherine Caldwell Patton, being duly sworn, deposes and says, that she resides at No 53 West 12th Street, in the Borough of Manhattan, City, County and State of New York; that she was born at Louisville, Kentucky, and is the sister of Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell, who is this day making application to the U. S. Government for a passport. Deponent further says that she is four years older than her said sister; that her said sister was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and our father was the Hon. Isaac Caldwell, who was also born in Kentucky.

Deponent further says that her said sister resides at No. 9 East 44th Street, Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, and expects to leave the port of New York on the S. S. New York on August 5, 1916, to go to Scotland, where she will aid Lady Ross in her hospital.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this July 29, 1916.
Antoinette C. Harrison? - Katherine Caldwell Patton

Letter from Pearson's Magazine

Hon. Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir: -

Pursuant to my understanding of the regulation of your department covering the issuance of passports for foreign travel, by which the business of an applicant desiring to travel must be stated, I have the honor to advise you that Miss Alice Louise Marguerite Caldwell has for some years been a correspondent of this Magazine and that she now desires to travel abroad in our service for the purpose of procuring first hand information upon which to base, if possible, articles for publication in Pearson's, particularly along the line of the romance of descriptive anecdotes of historic castles of Great Britain now being used as military hospitals.

Miss Caldwell has the advantage of being an intimate friend of Lady Ross [Patricia Ellison] with whom she plans to travel; and the husband of Lady Ross, Sir Charles Ross is the owner of Balmagown Castle which has been turned into a hospital, which combination of circumstances prompts us to recognize an opportunity somewhat unusual in the search for exclusive and interesting features.

If upon the basis of this connection, you may find yourself justified in issuing a passport to Miss Caldwell, I should appreciate any possible courtesy of despatch with which you may be able to have the matter acted upon.

Yours very truly, (illegible signature)

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