THOMAS EDWARDS SLEVIN, an Associate of the American Ornithologist's Union, died at his home in San Francisco on December 23, 1902, in his 32nd year. He was born in New York City on January 20, 1871. A year of his early childhood was spent in France. In 1878 he removed with his parents to San Francisco. He came of a race of students, both on his mother's side, Bruguiére, and on his father's side. His father, Thomas Edwards Slevin, LL. D., was vice-president of the Geographical Society of the Pacific.
The genius to make collections was strongly developed in the Slevin family. Mr. Slevin's grandfather gathered a large library, and his father collected the Slevin Library of works relating chiefly to the Pacific coast-- now a part of the public library of San Francisco.
Mr. Slevin's interest in birds dated from his thirteenth year, when he made his first attempt at forming a collection. In later years, he attained a very high degree of skill in the preparation of specimens; in the smaller birds, his specimens, for durability and beauty of finish, are not excelled by the work of the leading preparators in this country. To the very last he was eager to improve in his methods. His collection of birds numbered about three thousand specimens, and built up in leisure moments after office hours, on holidays, and during vacations. It is now incorporated with the study series of the California Academy of Sciences and is a monument to his earnest effort.
Mr. Slevin received his school education at St. Ignatius College, San Francisco. From his father and mother, he learned to speak French fluently. He was a member of the California Academy of Sciences, its Section of Ornithology, and the Cooper Ornithological Club.
He had in a marked degree that inborn gift to recognize at a glance and remember the differences in specimens. An exotic species once seen, its characters were indelibly fixed in his mind. If ornithology had been to him a profession, rather than his recreation, he would have attained distinction as a systematic ornithologist. He loved ornithology for the sake of ornithology-- not for scientific eminence or for position. Within a few days of his death, in the closing hours of a long, painful illness, he had his mother read to him the bird portion of North American Fauna No. 22, which had just reached him. Two days before the end, he told me, with a smile, that Ridgway had come, meaning he had received Part II of "The Birds of North and Middle America."
Mr. Slevin's preeminent characteristic was truthfulness; he was a man whose word could be absolutely relied upon.— L.M.L.
The Auk, A Quarterly Journal of Ornithology, Vol. XX No. 1, January 1903,
Published by The American Ornithologists' Union,Cambridge, Mass.
SLEVIN — In this city, December 23, 1902, Thomas Edwards Slevin, son of Marie C. and the late Thomas E. Slevin, a native of New York City. The funeral will take place to-day (Wednesday), at 9:30 o'clock, from St. Dominic's Church, corner Bush and Steiner streets.
San Francisco (California) Call, December 24, 1902.