This appears to be an early study, if not an on-site portrait, of the famous mountain man, Bill Burrows. Burrows had met Stewart at the 1837 rendezvous, although they may well have been acquainted from earlier rendezvouses. He was a favorite among the captain’s many acquaintances and was invited to join a small, select group to venture into the Wind River Mountains after the rendezvous concluded. It was a hunting spree worthy of Stewart’s loftiest expectations, and both men were happily in their element.
Miller likely used this portrait sketch when he created his record of that high country expedition, Trapper’s Camp (CR# 120), around 1838. That painting, shown with much fanfare at the Apollo Gallery in New York in 1839, spotlighted Burrows as he surveys his wilderness domain.
Peter H. Hassrick
Signed LR: AJM. Over signature LR: Bill Burrows. On mount LR: A Rocky Mt Trapper/Bill Burrows.-Green River, Oregon. UR: Omitted for W
The artist; [?]; Peale Museum, Baltimore, MD; Mae Reed Porter, Kansas City, MO, 1939; InterNorth Art Foundation, Omaha, NE; present owner