Description Founded by William Sublette and Robert Campbell, Fort Laramie lay at the crossroads of an old north-south Indian trail and what became known as the Oregon Trail. Called Fort Laramie because of the nearby Laramie Mountains and the Laramie Fork of the North Platte River, the post was approximately 150 feet square, according to Miller, with bastions at the diagonal corners. Miller's paintings are the only known visual records of the fort, because the original fort was torn down in 1840 before any other artist had traveled the Oregon Trail; it was replaced with another structure, located perhaps on the same site in 1841. -Extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.
|1/12/1981||Examination||examined for condition|
|8/11/1981||Examination||examined for exhibition|
- Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982.
- Alfred Jacob Miller: Watercolors and Drawings. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
- Alfred Jacob Miller: Maryland and the West. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Washington College, Chestertown; Frostburg State University, Frostburg; Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Rockville. 1988.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860
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