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AG Rutledge sends $250,000 to Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion

When the USS Sultana steamboat exploded on the Mississippi River in 1865, 1,500 were killed on the overloaded ship.


LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the allocation of funds to the Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion. The new multi-million-dollar center will honor the 1,200 men, women, and children who died in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. Attorney General Rutledge is allocating $250,000 to the Sultana Historical Preservation Society which created the museum.

The new Sultana Disaster Museum expects to attract 50,000 visitors annually, and is anticipated to inject approximately $3.5 million into Crittenden County and the Delta Region.

“What happened during the Sultana Disaster is heartbreaking and we must all remember those who tragically lost their lives that day,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I pray the new museum will honor the victims and teach our young people about the horrific event that happened on the Mississippi River in 1865.”

In 1865, the Sultana was traveling up the Mississippi River when both boilers powering the steam engine exploded, causing the ship to sink. While the Sultana was designed to carry fewer than 400 passengers, the army overloaded the ship with over 2,200 passengers causing the incident to be the most deadly maritime accident in United States history. This historic event was overshadowed by the assassination of President Lincoln just two weeks prior.

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