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Snake Indians
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Snake Indians

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Extracts from Alfred Jacob Miller’s original text, which accompanied his images of Native Americans, are included below for reference. "In starting our on their war parites, thes tribes, as is their custom, put themselves en grand tenue, donning their best dresses, arming at all points, and using their brightest colors to paint themselves. Every week while we were encamped amongst them, preparations of this kind might be seen; from one of thes parties we received 3 scalps on their return from a victorious foray, as a great favor. Take him by the hand pale face and treat him as well as you can. Don't hold back! Why you would be very like him if your education had been as sadly neglected as his,- besides recollect that with all his faults he has received immense injury from you;- he has sold his birth-right to you for a mess of pottage;- your Jacob has been played with immense energy to his poor character of Esau. It was an unlucky day for him when he first saw you;- Even now, you and yours persue him with fire and sword to extermination. You perceive the faults are not all one side, and can well afford to be generous, under the circumstances of the case." A.J. Miller, 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.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller and the Western Indians. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Monogram] Lower right: AJMiller
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 9 3/8 x W: 13 3/4 in. (23.8 x 35 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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