There was no attack by Indians on the participants of the 1837 rendezvous, so Miller’s watercolor must have been inspired by accounts of previous attacks that he heard about from Stewart. The emphasis of the sketch is clearly on Stewart’s flight, rather than the attack itself. We see Stewart and his companion galloping full speed. The horses are represented in a style typical of the Stewart sketches. They have small heads, long, graceful necks, heavily muscled bodies, and dainty legs. Stewart, in his typical costume of light buckskin suit and black hat, turns toward his companion, probably Antoine. Antoine, in turn, raises his crop and looks back over his shoulder at their invisible pursuers.
The surrounding landscape is stark and plain, with little vegetation. The cliffs rise up behind them like flat sheets of rock, devoid of vegetation. The barren landscape seems to add to the sense of danger, as it provides no potential comforts or cover for the riders. Miller’s delicate pen outlines of the jagged rocks, covered in wash in the fore- and mid-ground and untouched in the distance, are typical of his style in the Stewart sketches
UL: 47. UC: Escaping from a War Party
The artist; Sir William Drummond Stewart, 1839; Frank Nichols Stewart, 1871; [Chapman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1871]; Bonamy Mansell Power; willed to Edward Power, 1900; by descent to Major G.H. Power, Great Yarmouth, England, 1966; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, NY, 1966]; present owner