Alfred Jacob Miller
"This building, situated at the time on the Western frontier of the United States, was the last house we encountered previous to entering the wilderness. It was inhabited by a Shawnee Indian, who for a wonder had been benefited by civilization, for he here cultivated successfully about 100 acres of arable land, and had everything in plenty around him. The building was 50 feet in length, flanked by kitchen and offices, built of logs dovetailed at the corners, with a Hall through the centre about 15 feet wide, and was altogether a most comfortable country residence. Here we witnessed an Indian marriage, and after it came a feast, - the tables spread with a profusion of substantials, music and dancing closing the ceremonies. We encamped here for about a week, purchasing mules and making our final preparation for a savage life." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837).
In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.
(Released under the GNU Free Documentation License)
Medium: watercolors on paper.
Credit line: Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860.
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