clippings, obituaries, correspondence, eighteen photographs of Alice and
Frederick Slee, family, and friends, writings by Frederick Slee, documents
about the Slee Bequest to the University of Buffalo, concert programs, and a
log of a twenty-one day sailing trip undertaken by Frederick Slee and two
friends in 1914. The log details their adventures along the northern shore of
The collection was given to the library by faculty member, Stephen
Manes, who received it from Ansie Baird (Mrs. Brent Baird). Mrs. Baird received
the collection from Charles G. Beaudette. Some clippings and programs were
added by Music Library staff subsequent to the receipt of the collection.
Frederick Caldecott Slee (1870-1954), was a successful corporate
lawyer in Buffalo, N.Y. His two passions in life were sailing and Beethoven.
While at Harvard pursuing his law degree, Mr. Slee also studied music theory
and composition. He later furthered his music education at the Sorbonne, in
Paris. Mr. Slee and his wife Alice were devoted fans of chamber music and the
music of Beethoven, especially the string quartets. They built a special music
room in their Saybrook Place home with a raised platform for performers. The
room was used most Sundays for recitals with friends. Mr. Slee was an
accomplished musician, playing viola, violin, piano and the cello.
Alice Slee, née McDonald, was born August 20, 1875 in East Aurora, NY.
She moved to Buffalo to attend business school. It was there that Alice met and
married Frederick Slee in 1905. Mrs. Slee was active in many worthy causes,
serving the Red Cross through the two World Wars. Mrs. Slee was honored as one
of Western New York's outstanding citizens by the
Buffalo News in 1952. Mrs. Slee was also
devoted to the music of Beethoven and sponsored concerts for all of Buffalo to
enjoy. Mrs. Slee passed away exactly two years after her husband on May 19,
The Slee Bequest at the University at Buffalo provides for the annual
performance of all of Beethoven's string quartets in an order prescribed by
Frederick Slee. The concert series dates to 1955 and has featured some of the
most renowned string quartets, including the Budapest, Guarnieri, Juilliard,
Cleveland, Tokyo, Emerson, and Concord quartets. The Music Department at The
State University of Buffalo administers the Slee Bequest and the annual series
of concerts are held in Slee Concert Hall located at the University. The
endowment also funds the Slee professorship in the Music Department.
The collection contains various documents pertaining to the lives of
Frederick Caldecott Slee and his wife, Alice, including music-related writings
by Frederick Slee, correspondence, clippings about the Slees, documents
concerning the Slee Bequest to the University of Buffalo, and concert programs.
The collection contains eighteen photographs of friends and family. The
majority of the family photographs are of Frederick C. Slee and his wife,
Alice. There are two photographs of Slee's Sunday morning string quartet, taken
in his music room, and a photograph of the Slee home at 59 Saybrook Place in
One of the highlights of the collection is a typewritten daily log of
a sailing trip taken in 1914, by Frederick C. Slee and his friends, George T.
Moseley and Louis Wright Simpson. The log includes 46 leaves, with 30
photographs taken during their three week journey. The author of this log was
also the purser, Louis Wright Simpson. Frederick Slee signed on as Captain, and
Mr. George Moseley was the yacht's Mate. Mr. Slee and his companions left the
Buffalo Yacht Club, beginning their trip on Lake Erie. The second day they
traveled through the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario. Most of their time was
spent sailing the northern shoreline of Lake Ontario. Many of the photographs
show life aboard the Althea: hoisting the sails, cleaning up after cooking, and
taking turns behind the wheel. The sailing trip commenced on July 11, 1914 and
ended on August 1, 1914. The first world news they saw after twenty-one
carefree days was the newspaper headline, "Germany Declares War", the beginning
of World War I.
The collection is arranged in seven series:
of the Good Yacht Althea on the Summer Cruise of 1914
Writings of Frederick Slee
Slee Bequest Documents
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
Collection Access & Use
Materials can be examined by qualified researchers in the Music
Library during hours of operation during which Music Librarians are present. In
order to insure access, researchers are advised to contact the Music Library in
advance of visits.
Copyright for the materials in the collection does not reside with
the Music Library. Therefore, patrons wishing to publish any item, or part of
an item from this collection for any purpose, are responsible for securing
[Specified item], Slee Family Collection, 1893-1981, Music Library,
The State University of New York at Buffalo.