MSS 2/0014-01			Acc. 1989-041


Letters to Japanese Neurosurgeons,
1948; 1955-1972


Walter Jackson Freeman II was born in Philadelphia on November 
14, 1895.  He was the son of Walter Jackson Freeman, a physician, 
and Corinne Keen, one of the daughters of W.W. Keen.  Freeman 
married Marjorie Lorne Franklin (d.1970) in 1924.  They had 
six children: Marjorie Lorne Canter, Walter Jackson, Franklin, 
Paul, William Williams Keen (d.1946), and Robert Fitz Randolph 
(d.1969).  Freeman died on May 31, 1972.

Freeman received an A.B. from Yale University in 1916, an M.D. 
for the University of Pennsylvania in 1920, and an M.S. in 1929 
and Ph.D in 1931 from Georgetown University.  He served as a 
pathology intern at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 
from 1921 to 1923, then pursued graduate study in neurology 
in Paris and Rome (1923-1924.)

In 1926, Freeman began his medical practice as a neurologist in 
Washington, D.C.  He was the Director of Laboratories at St. 
Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington from 1924 to 1933 and Professor 
of Neurology at George Washington University (1927-1954).  He 
also served as a Consulting Neurologist to Walter Reed Army 
Hospital from 1944 to 1954. In 1954, Freeman moved his practice 
to California.  He retired in 1968.

Freeman was the author of several books including Neuropathology 
(1933), Psychosurgery with J.W. Watts (1942), Psychosurgery 
and the self with M.F. Robinson (1954) and The psychologist 

Freeman was also active in many professional organizations, including 
the American Medical Association, American Neurological Association, 
the American Association of Neuropathologists (President, 1944-1945), 
the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (President, 1946-1947), 
the American Psychiatric Association, and the Philadelphia Neurological 
Society (President, 1945).  Although he was elected to fellowship 
in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1956, Freeman 
rejected his election.

Sadao Hirose was born on March 1, 1918. He received his M.D. from 
the University of Tokyo in 1941 and was associated with the 
Department of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Tokyo from 
1941 to 1946.  Hirose specialized in affective and schizophrenic 
disorders and forensic psychiatry.  From 1946 to 1954, Hirose 
served as the Medical Official at the Matsuzawa Mental Hospital 
in Tokyo.  He was appointed Chief Psychiatrist at the hospital 
in 1954.  In 1960, he became a professor and the Director of 
the Department of Neuropsychiatry at Nippon Medical School in 
Tokyo.  He still held this position in 1983.

In 1948, Mizuho Nakata was the Director of the Surgical Division 
of the Niigata Medical College Hospital.  According to information 
received from Sadao Hirose, Nakata was the first surgeon to 
introduce psychosurgery into Japan.  

Scope and Contents:

This small collection of letters from Walter Freeman to two Japanese 
neurosurgeons, Mizuho Nakata and Sadao Hirose, gives some indication 
of Freeman's own views on psychosurgery and lobotomy and is 
also filled with personal information on Freeman's career and 
family.  There are no original items in the collection, only 
photocopies of original material in the possession of either 
Franklin Freeman or Sadao Hirose.

The 1948 letter to Mizuho Nakata from Walter Freeman discusses 
a case of hyperkinesia in a child; enclosed is a request from 
Freeman to Lieutenant General Richard Southerland to allow Nakata 
to attend an international conference on psychosurgery in Lisbon 
in 1948.

The bulk of the collection is Freeman's letters to Sadao Hirose, 
1955-1972.  Their acquaintance seems to have started in 1955, 
but they did not meet until Hirose's visit to the United States 
in 1961. Although they met rarely, the two neurosurgeons maintained 
a close friendship until Freeman's death.  

In the correspondence, Freeman discusses his experiences with 
lobotomies and the use of drug therapy as an alternative to 
psychosurgery as well as the general hostility in America towards 
psychosurgery in the 1960s. He describes some of his lobotomy 
operations and follow up studies he pursued after his retirement 
from active practice.  Freeman was also interested in suicide 
among psychiatrists and psychoanalysts.

The remainder of information contained in the letters to Hirose 
is personal.  Freeman gives news of his family, including accounts 
of the death of his son Robert Fitz Randolph in 1969 and of 
his wife, Marjorie, in 1970, and an accident suffered by his 
aunt, Dora Keen Handy, in 1963.  Freeman also describes his 
retirement and final illness.  The last item in the collection 
is a telegram from Marjorie Lorne Canter giving news of her 
father's death.


The collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the 
College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Walter Freeman's son, 
Franklin Freeman, in 1989.  The location of the original material 
is uncertain, but it is probably in the possession of Franklin 

The Freeman correspondence was processed in 1989.

1948; 1955-1972
62 items (1 folder)