The Lynching of Arthur Henry
On November 27, 1925 at about 1:30 AM, Arthur Henry, an African American man, was lynched after being abducted from Orange General Hospital. The previous evening, Henry had been admitted to the hospital after he and two white detectives were injured while exchanging gunfire. His hands and feet shackled, a special police guard posted at his door, Henry was arrested and confined to a room inside the hospital’s negro ward.
According to the police officer, three unidentified white men later entered the ward, one of them holding the officer at gunpoint while the other two abducted Henry. A nurse also reported entering the ward in time to see the men exiting with Henry. The men forced Henry into a car waiting in the adjacent driveway, and sped away.
Shortly after being notified of Henry’s abduction, the county sheriff suspected a lynching and mobilized officers to search the southeastern section of Orange county, having received a tip that Henry’s body could be found eight miles east of Orlando, in Conway, an unincorporated community.
The sheriff’s investigation proved fruitless until twelve days later, when Henry’s lifeless body was indeed found in Conway, shot repeatedly, apparently by the three white men who had abducted him two weeks earlier.
Like Henry, nearly all documented lynching victims never had a chance to stand trial for their alleged crimes, and were killed by mobs who never faced prosecution for the lynching.
Arthur Henry’s body was taken back to his native Lake City for burial by his family. The next month a coroner’s jury met for three days to investigate Henry’s murder and submitted a final report which declared his death was the result of homicide at the hands of “persons unknown.”