Commending Their Sky

Newspaper clipping of an obituary, no date.

SHELL - In this city, on Friday evening, July 3, aged 21 years and 10 months, Frederick P. Shell, a well-known Teacher in the Drawing and Painting school of Mr. Coe, in the New York University.

Possessing a delicate constitution, and with most of his time occupied in teaching he was a careful student of nature, and has left pictures which compare favorably with the most gifted of our younger artists. Extremely social in his habits, and pleasing in his address, with a kind word for every person of every condition, he parts with a large circle of sincere friends. Prostrated with his last day's efforts in teaching, the pupils of the school in all parts of the country will be interested to know they were not forgotten by him in his last hours. Calling many by name in his partial delerium, he would cheer them onward, commending their sky, the rocks and the water, and encourage them to rely on their own exertions. His thoughts, particularly during the past few months have been turned to contemplate the future, and his friends are consoled with the hope that he has gone to that "city, where they have no need of the sun neither of the moon, to shine it, for the glory of God and the Lamb are the light thereof." 

Found in "Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott. Published by Roberts, 1890.

-Click to enlarge photos-


  1. I wonder if any of his artwork still exists?
    I did some quick genealogy research: it looks like this newspaper clipping is possibly from the New York Herald, dated July 06, 1857. I based this off a NY City Directory from 1857/58 which listed Frederick P. Shell, artist, University Bldg. July 3rd occurred on a Friday in 1857 (matching the death notice). Frederick was the son of Thomas Shell and Sarah Hester Shell, who emigrated from Middlesex, England to Phelps, NY around 1840 along with Frederick and his older sister Rosalie. Another sister, Cecelia, was born in New York a few years later.

  2. Excellent work, thank you!

    I didn't realize the clipping was that old. I would have guessed 1880s.

  3. WOW! I love this place. I learn something every day.