Cyrus W. Field. Letter to the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 5, 1892, offers his collection of objects commemorating the laying of the Atlantic cable, including this painting, to the MMA.
Henry M[artyn]. Field. The Story of the Atlantic Telegraph. New York, 1892, ill. opp. p. 364, as "The Great Eastern at Midnight, Sept. 1, 1866, When it Had Picked Up the Cable" in the caption and "The Great Eastern at Midnight When She Had Picked Up the Cable" in the list of illustrations.
Daniel Huntington. Letter to General Luigi Palma di Cesnola. May 3, 1892, strongly recommends the accession of this series (92.10.42-47), noting that it represents "one of the important events of our times".
Josephine C. Dobkin. "The Laying of the Atlantic Cable: Paintings, Watercolors, and Commemorative Objects Given to the Metropolitan Museum by Cyrus W. Field." Metropolitan Museum Journal 41 (2006), pp. 155, 157–58, 167, Appendix no. 4, fig. 4, notes that this is the fourth picture in the series, showing the September 1, 1866 recovery of the cable which had snapped during the unsuccessful 1865 attempt to lay the cable.