In April 1852, Miller wrote John Lewis of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: “I send another picture (already sent a Lost Greenhorn and a Wind River Mountains) which I have just completed called “The Trapper’s Bride” it embraces 12 figures and is from an original sketch made in Oregon – Price $200. Please request it to be placed in a line with the eye and oblige, AJM, Carroll Hall.” Miller may have been discussing this version of The Trapper’s Bride as it is the only extant version available for sale at that time (CR# 191C and CR# 191E) having been sold in 1846 and 1850, respectively). The stockier figures and simplified composition (Miller compresses the space and reduces the number of figures in the foreground to five) are characteristic of other works completed in the fifties, including The Thirsty Trapper (CR# 459B). If this is the version exhibited in 1852, we can only assume the artist subsequently painted out three of the background figures to reduce the total number from twelve to nine. Given the short time frame, it is likely the same painting that was exhibited at the Metropolitan Mechanic’s Institute in February 1853, where it won a first diploma for history painting. Three years later, Miller recorded his last sale of a Trapper’s Bride, to tobacco merchant Charles DeFord.
Signed LL: AJM [monogram]
The artist; [?]; Charles DeFord, 1858; Scott L. Probasco, Jr.; present owner by gift, 1991