|| "One of the greatest privations to be combatted on the pairies is the want of water. The Trapper leaves his camp in the morning, and after traveling all day under the hot sun, his tongue parched and swollen, and almost cleaving to the roof of his mouth: - you may fancy, under such circumstances with what delight he hails at a distance, the life-giving stream. The subject of the sketch is an Indian girl supplying an exhausted Trapper with a draught of water, which she has brought in a buffalo horn. To fully appreciate the boon, one must go through the ordeal, by being subjected to the privation, - it is impossible otherwise." 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.