The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project

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"Emma Buttles Andrews,", accessed February 18th 2015,
"The millionaire and the mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings," John Adams, accessed April 23rd 2015

Biographical Text

Emma B. Andrews was born in Ohio to Joel and Lauretta Buttles. She married Abner L. Andrews in 1859 and the couple produced either one or two children: records indicate the couple may have had a son named Charles and that Emma may also have given birth to another child, a girl, that died in infancy. A few years into their marriage, Abner was committed to a mental institution for undisclosed reasons.
In 1887, Emma met Theodore Davis and the two began a passionate romance. She moved in with him at his estate, The Reef, and eventually removed his wife Annie from the household. Davis, a millionaire lawyer turned archaeologist brought Emma along with him on his 17 trips up the Nile in search of Egyptian Antiquities. To avoid scandal while travelling abroad, Andrews and Davis passed as cousins. In her diaries, there are notes on notable discoveries and sketches of the many tombs, as well as incredible insight into Victorian life and culture. After Theodore's death in 1915, Emma spent a great deal of time in Italy before she passed away in 1922 at the age of 84.

Birth Date

June 13th 1837


Ohio, United States of America

Death Date

January 19th 1922


Not formally employed


"A Journal on the Bedawin, 1889-1912 , The Diary Kept on Board the Dahabiyeh of Theodore M. Davis During Seventeen Trips up the Nile," Volumes 1-19, Emma Buttles Andrews


Various Letters and correspondence

Notable Family Members

Joel Buttles, father. Lauretta Barnes, mother. Abner Barnes Buttles, brother. Abner L. Andrews, husband. Charles H. Andrews, son. Mary Neil Buttles, niece. Sara Buttles, niece.

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“Andrews, Emma Buttles,” The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project, accessed July 19, 2024,