Everyone was particularly glad to see Stewart at the rendezvous of 1837. The fur trade was on the decline. Beaver hats and heavy winter coats were going out of style, and the cutthroat competition reached all the way from New York and St. Louis to the mountains. Captain Benjamin Bonneville, who had established a post north of the rendezvous site and had tried to get into the fur business, had given up and returned to St. Louis the previous year. The Rocky Mountain Fur Company had recently sold out to the American Fur Company, which struggled for control of the remaining trade. Meanwhile, in the mountains the trappers “had never been in as bad a fix,” recalled trapper Isaac P. Rose, who had stayed there all winter. “Their blankets were worn out, and their ammunition was getting low.” But “the caravan from St. Louis made its appearance at about the usual time,” he said, “and laughter, fun and frolic were once more the order of the day.” (Marsh, 1951, p. 206)
In this sketch that he prepared for Stewart’s leather-bound portfolio, Miller depicts the spectacular rendezvous site, with Stewart and his party in the foreground and the various Indian camps stretched along Horse Creek and the rendezvous grounds.
UL: 79. LC on mount: Green River Camp & Rendezvous-Mountains in the/distance covered with Snow.—
The artist; Sir William Drummond Stewart (ca. 1839); Frank Nichols; [Chapman’s, Edinburgh, June 16-17, 1871]; Bonamy Mansell Power; willed to Edward Power (1900); by descent to Major G.H. Power, Great Yarmouth, England; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, NY, 1966]; bought by Edward Eberstadt and Sons for Frederick William Beinecke; present owner