Buffalo Hunt, Black Hills
One of the first sizable buffalo hunts that Miller witnessed occurred in the shadow of what he called the Black Hills (now known as the Laramie Mountains) west of Fort Laramie along the North Platt River. The scene that unfolded before him probably involved Crow Indians. He referred to it as “no child’s play.” The hunters, he wrote, “dash without hesitation into the very midst of the moving mass of animals, being fearless, self-possessed and wide awake, and well mounted on trained horses.” Other hunters, as pictured in the foreground of this watercolor, “separated some … from the main herd, and are pursuing their game in all directions.”
This is an especially broad, panoramic view. The sweep of the plain that alternates between bluffs and mountains provides a vast stage on which to present this dramatic narrative. The artist sketched this scene in a somewhat narrower format (Buffalo Hunt, Black Hills, CR# 357) that seemed to crowd the characters and somewhat diminish the spectacle that Miller must have beheld.
Peter H. Hassrick
Signed LR: AJMiller. Pt. On mat LR: No. 29./Hunting the Buffalo./In Herds.
The artist; Alexander Brown, Liverpool, England (1867); by descent to Mrs. J.B. Jardine, Chesterknowes, Scotland; present owner by gift