This is the preliminary pictorial recollection of Stewart’s first bear hunt of the 1837 trip. It was one of the 87 sketches that Miller provided his patron in a boxed portfolio of sketched mementos in 1839. The chase took place west of Fort Laramie in a series of low mountains known in Stewart’s time as the Black Hills, in what is today southeastern Wyoming. The granite monadnock formations, for which the area is famous, appear to Stewart’s left as he pursues the beast. The lightly sketched outline of the rocks would suggest that this is very likely a field study.
Stewart was joined in the hunt by one of his fellow hunters, probably Antoine. In later versions there are three hunters in the group.
Peter H. Hassrick
UL: 43 UC: Pursuit of a Grisly [sic] Bear in the Black Hills, near Fort Larrimer [sic]; on mount: LC: Pursuit of a Grizly [sic] Bear in the Black Hills,/near fort Larrimer [sic]
The artist; Sir William Drummond Stewart, ca. 1839; Francis Nichols Stewart; [Chapman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1871]; Bonamy Mansell Power; willed to Edward Power, 1900; by descent to Major G.H. Power, Great Yarmouth, England; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, NY, 1966]; Olga N. Sheldon; present owner by gift