NARRAGANSETT at left, STONINGTON at right; collided at center of image. Passenger on deck, jumping into sea in boats in water.
On the foggy night of June 11, 1880, the passenger steamer Narragansett of the Providence and Stonington Steamship Company collided with the steamer Stonington of the same line off Long Island Sound near Saybrook, Connecticut. While neither vessel sank, 30 people, mostly women and children, were killed as a result of the fire on board the Narragansett. An article in the New York Times on June 14, 1880, detailed the panic caused on board the Narragansett and the horrible deaths of some of the passengers. Much comment was made on the actions of the men on board: “The scene on board was appalling. A large number of the passengers were women and children, and the sufferings of these, aggravated by the cowardice and brutality of many of the men was simply terrible.” Many of Currier & Ives most popular prints illustrated the calamities, disasters and conflagrations of the day and were made available within hours of such an event.