Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


The Sickness of Edith Andrews

The week following the European Council was a sorrowful time for Ellen White in several ways. First, she had a “painful operation” on her teeth Friday morning. The pain lasted over the Sabbath, October 3, and by Sunday morning she was suffering severely but hot fomentations brought some relief. Her own health problems were over-shadowed, however, by those of Edith Andrews, a niece of J. N. Andrews, and the oldest daughter of Martha Andrews Bourdeau. Edith had come to Europe with her uncle in May, 1879, just after J. N. Andrews’ young daughter, Mary, had died of tuberculosis.* EGWE 87.2

The disease had taken J. N. Andrews in 1883, and now the vivacious 22-year-old Edith was showing its effect. Ellen White wrote in her diary during the European Council: “The condition of Edith Andrews is a grief to us all. She seems to be failing in health. What shall be done in her case?”—Manuscript 16a, 1885. EGWE 87.3

When the council had decided to send A. C. Bourdeau and Edith's mother, Martha, to Torre Pellice, Italy, it was suggested that Edith go along for her health's sake, but she wanted to stay and work or, if she had to, go to America. EGWE 88.1

Edith was quiet a leader among the young people in the publishing house, but her example was not always the best. W. C. White sized up the situation: “Her influence in the office is not the best. It is to center her affections on a choice few, and care but little for the rest of the world.” The influence of Edith's “clique” was not good in a situation where so many people, young and old, had to live and work together day after day. EGWE 88.2