WHC Biographical Profile
Julia Butler Hansen
State Legislator, U.S. House of Representatives
Wahkiakum County, Cathlamet
June 14, 1907 -- May 3, 1988
Julia Butler Hansen, in a speech given to the Washington State Historical Society in 1975, reminded her
audience, "Please remember, as you contemplate women's long history in the suffrage struggle, that they did
not ask for the right to vote for any selfish reason. They asked for the right to vote so they might contribute
to the justice, freedom, tolerance, and development of this state. They were interested in humanity, they were
interested in schools, roads, social problems, and decency." She might have been describing her own long
and accomplished career of public service to her community
Washington, to the state and to the nation. (1)
Anne Kilgannon, Oral History Program Manager, Washington Secretary of State Office,
contributed this brief biography to the WHC in commemoration
of Julia Butler Hansen's 100th birthday. Ms. Kilgannon also provided a brief article, textual and graphical, of
the Hansen's home, deeded to the Wahkiakum Community Foundation by David Hansen, Julia's son.
The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress also provides a brief
overview of Congresswoman Hansen's political activities.
In 2006 the Government Printing Office published Women in Congress, 1917–2006,
prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration of the U.S. House of
Representatives, by the Office of History and Preservation, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House
of Representatives. This publication can be viewed in its entirety on the GPO website.
The WHC has excerpted the chapter on Julia Butler Hansen for use on this site.
Published dissertations exist. Lynda Ring Anderson's Julia Butler Hansen:The Grand Lady of Washington Politics"
and Marie B. Rosenberg-Dishman's Women in Politics: A Comparative Study of Congresswoman
Edith Green and Julia Butler Hansen.
The Julia Butler Hansen Papers, 1930-1984
The Julia Butler Hansen Papers are housed at Special Collections, University of Washington
Libraries, Seattle, Washington. Users can view the
Guide to the Julia Butler Hansen Papers 1930-1984 on the University of Washington Libraries web site.
This finding aid provides brief biographical information and defines the scope and content of
this collection as such: "Correspondence, reports, legislation, scrapbooks,
subject series, campaign files, writings, clippings, ephemera, oral history transcript,
The Julia Butler Hansen Committee Papers, 1961-1974
Washington State University Libraries house the Julia Butler
Hansen Committee Papers, 1961-1974. WSU Libraries define the arrangement and description for
this collection as such: "Records of the Julia Butler Hansen Committee consist of files kept by
James Carty from 1960-1974. The bulk of the records are correspondence between Carty and
Hansen pertaining to his position as treasurer of her legislative and congressional campaigns.
Also included are Carty's financial records for Hansen's campaigns, copies of press releases
and newsletters from Julia Butler Hansen to her constituents. The records are ordered as two
series, Correspondence and Financial Records. Both are arranged chronologically. Interesting
items include: a file on the Society for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; a letter from
Oct., 1962 (JBH to JC) discussing the John Birch Society; a letter, Jan. 29, 1963 (JC to JBH),
relative to political problems, rumors nine county league and the "Loyalists;" and 1964
correspondence during 1964 about and between Oregon Senator Wayne Morse and Julia Butler
Hansen concerning their conflict over appropriations for an American Indian school in
Tongue Point, Oregon." (3)
William Edward Carty Papers, 1898-1963
WSU Libraries house the
William Edward Carty Papers, 1898-1963. William Edward Carty, Representative in the Washington State Legislature from Clark County, was
active in the legislature for 22 years and this collection "consists of in-coming and out-going correspondence concerning legislation before the Washington State Legislature, 1933-1959." (4)
(See Boxes 45, 53, 89, 163, 166, 167, 210, 244, 265, 278, 283, 289 for correspondence related to JBH.)
Clarence Daniel Martin Papers, 1896-1954
Another related collection, also housed at WSU Libraries, is the
Clarence Daniel Martin Papers, 1896-1954. This collection, containing material from both Martin's personal and political life (1886-1955) during the period 1896 to 1954, includes a few mentions of JBH.
Martin of Cheney, Washington, was the eleventh governor of the State of Washington (1933-1941). (See boxes 103, 217, 225 for information related to JBH.)
Washington State Historical Society
The Washington State Historical Society collection includes numerous
JBH artifacts, including clothing, hats, purse, handkerchiefs, eyeglasses, wallet, necklace, and other
jewelry, two envelopes and two sheets of stationery used by JBH, her U.S. House of Representatives check
book, clothing worn both by JBH and her mother, political campain buttons and bumper stickers. WSHS also
has a playlet written by JBH for Cathlamet High
School Students. Many of these artifacts are in the process of being digitized and will be added
to the soon to be released WHC Digital Library. So please check back to view those items.
Two sets of oral interviews were conducted with Mrs. Hansen toward the end of her political career.
One in 1976, as a part of the Washington State Oral/Aural History Program conducted by David Meyers
and, the second in 1980-81 as part of the Elected Washington Women Project conducted by Kathryn Hinsch.
The Washington State Archives, a WHC Partner, possesses Women in the
Washington State Legislature - Oral History Project. 1912-1981. This repository, which includes the Hinsch interview with JBH,
was donated to the Washington State Archives by Hinsch, the Project's Director, and transcribed by the Washington State
Legislative Oral History Project. The WHC hopes to make these assets available in the near future.
Washington State Office of Equity Education, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, published a 2-volume classroom resource in June of 1990.
Volume II, titled Making A Difference: A Centennial Celebration of Washington Women,,
includes a section on JBH titled Julia Butler Hansen -- Dedicated to Service.
It consists of excerpts from both of the above mentioned oral interviews. Describing Mrs. Hansen's experience and
observations, the excerpted oral history transcriptions were arranged roughly in the order they appeared in the
interviews and follow the development of Hansen's values, opportunities, and choices. This work was compiled and
written by Jennifer James-Wilson and Brenda Owings-Klimek. Permission to use this resource has been granted to the WHC. (5)
The WHC will be including this publication in its entirety on this site over time -- both as excerpts as they pertain to
people and issues portrayed here, and in its original published state. The JBH excerpt
can be viewed here. Copies of this educational resource are still available. Educators,
please contact WHC Coordinator Shanna Stevenson for more information on how to obtain a copy.
Cowlitz Historical Quarterly
The Cowlitz Historical Quarterly, published by the Cowlitz County
Historical Society, featured Julia Butler Hansen in its June 2006 issue, Volume 48,
Number 2. Titled Julia, the CHQ article was written by Caroline Wood, a Longview author best known for
her award-winning play and movie, The Immigrant Garden. CHQ and Ms. Wood have graciously allowed the WHC to make a version of this article available to our readers.
Julia Butler Hansen Heritage Center
The Julia Butler Hansen Heritage Center is located at 35 Butler Street in Cathlamet. After her death in
1988, JBH's son, David Hansen, donated the family house and property in Cathlamet to the Wahkiakum Community
Foundation in 2004. David continues to be involved with the Heritage Center and was instrumental in assisting the WHC
in this portrayal of his mother. The house was opened to the public in 2005. Items on display at the Heritage Center
include more than 200 of Maude K. Butler's watercolor paintings; four generations of family antiques; memorabilia from
Julia Butler Hansen's political career, and much more. An acre of formal garden area, featuring century-old plants, graces the family grounds.
Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge and the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Taled Deer
Like the formal gardens that decorate the Hansen family home in Cathlamet,
Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge and
the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Taled Deer stand as testaments to JBH's love,
appreciation, and concern for the natural world.
HistoryLink.org has several essays referencing Hansen, including: