A letter from Oliver’s sister, Vivian

Below is a letter that was written by Oliver’s sister, Vivian. She’s writing about her father, Floyd Barnes. I’m not sure of the exact date of the letter, but it must have been written sometime around 1970.

About 3 weeks ago I overheard Floyd explaining to my 10 year old son that he was a student, that he had been a student all of his life.

Floyd was born 84 years ago in Geneva, Illinois (May 4, 1886), the son of Rev. Frank B. Floyd became a fifth generation Methodist minister in a line going back before the American Revolutionary War.

At the age of 16 he had his license to preach. He attended the Garrett Biblical Institute and the Northwestern Theological School in Evanston, Illinois.

At the outbreak of World War I he was dismayed over the mobilization of Christian against Christian. He organized clergymen in a protest against war. This received wide national publicity and resulted in the arrest and conviction of Floyd and other clergymen on the charge of Unlawful Assembly. After serving 90 days of the sentence, he California State Supreme Court overturned the conviction and the defendants were released. Read his publication “A True Account of an Unlawful Assembly in Jail.”

Floyd was 50 years ahead of the temper of the times.

He was a retired clergyman of both the Methodist and Unitarian ordinations.

For many years Floyd was involved in the movement for a common world tongue. In 1907 he was actively campaigning for the adoption of an international auxiliary language.

He was the founder, publisher and editor of the International Language Review. The magazine circulated in some 50 nations, including communist countries, and served as a clearing house for all matters connected with the international language movement. The publication was founded in 1955.

He was a chairman of the committee for the study and research in Intercultural Communication of the National Society for the study of communication; board member of the Association for a World Language board member of the council on International Communication; and editor of International Shorthand Review, and the Quarterly Review of Intercultural Communications.

Floyd was active in the Esperanto Society of the United States and was co-founder of the American School for Esperanto. He wrote many articles and poems in Esperanto.

As a member of the Bibliographical Center of Research at Denver, he was the author of a number of bibliographies including Child Psychology and the Spanish Civil War. He was the author of a number of works on mathematics, philosophy and theology; notable among the latter are “War and the Moral Reconstitution of Theology” (1918) and “Outline of a New Theism.” He was also the author of many items in verse, some of which have been reprinted in anthologies of poetry. Read some of them here.

His search for spiritual truth led him in later years, to accept and bec ome a member of the Bah’a’i Faith, a world religion.


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