This sketch is based on Escaping from a War Party (CR# 150A), which Miller painted for Stewart sometime between 1837 and 1839. In this version, Miller repeats Stewart and his companion in the same poses in the foreground, but he has now added the light silhouettes of their pursuers riding through the valley in the distance. He has also identified the antagonists as Blackfeet in his inscription at lower right.
Despite its title, this simple composition could just as well show two hunters starting after game. The trappers appear to look at one another. One, in a blue jacket, cradles his gun in his arms and looks outwards, toward the viewer. The second, in a red jacket and low-crowned hat often worn by Stewart’s Metis hunters, turns toward the second rider with his crop raised.
The scene takes place in a valley, with mountains in the distance. Miller has rendered the image in color, with areas of heavy gum Arabic-laden black paint to define the forms of the rocks and trees at the right. He has included more detail here than in the original sketch. We can now see grass, small boulders, and shrubbery in the foreground, as well as the polychrome washes.
LR: AJM. Trappers making their/escape from hostile Ind[ians]/Blackfoot
The artist; [?]; William R. Coe, Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY; present owner by gift