When Miller wrote about this camp scene among the upper lakes in the Wind River Mountains, he focused on his patron, Stewart, who is not seen. Stewart, according to Miller, was exceedingly popular among the hunters and mountain men who joined him in a post-rendezvous foray into the mountain wilds. So enamored of and trusting in Stewart were these fellows that, as Miller recounted, “all the men would have followed him into any danger regardless of consequences.” Yet where they actually ended up was quite peaceful. It was, as Miller describes the picture he produced, a relaxed evening with “a glorious supper” shared along with amusing stories (Ross, 36).
The characters that are portrayed as Stewart’s compatriots here were listed by Miller as his patron’s hunters:LaJeunnesse, Burrows, and Francois (Ross, 36). Only Burrows seems to be correctly identified. Attired in his famous calico shirt, he stands in the center of the group cleaning his rifle. He was a veteran mountain man, though not a hired hunter in the Stewart party. Stewart crossed paths with him in 1837 at the rendezvous. The seated youth on the right is not Francois but rather Pierre, who was actually one of Stewart’s hired hunters. A similar pose for Pierre can be seen in Miller’s 1837 portrait of the young man, Pierre (CR# 291A). The man on the left of the composition looks a good deal like Louis, another of Stewart’s hunters. His likeness is seen in Louis—Rocky Mountain Trapper (CR# 55).
Peter H. Hassrick
Signed LC: AJMiller
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner