Bonanza Wiki
Emily McPhail
Biographical information
Full Name: Emily McPhail
Occupation: Liar
Gender: Female
Race/Ethnicity: --
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Blue
Born: --
Died: --
Family/Relatives: --
Spouse Wade McPhail
Romances/Domestic Partners: Little Joe Cartwright
Children: --
Appeared on:
First Episode: Emily
Last Episode: Emily
Portrayed by: Beth Brickell

Personal Life[]

Emily McPhail comes to Virginia City and causes trouble for Little Joe.

Prior to her move to Virginia City, Emily Anderson used to live in Monterey five years ago and it was here that she met Little Joe who was passing through. Joe who was very much in love and after much courting proposed to her but she disappeared the same night, he attempted to contact her through letters but they all came back unread. Joe finds out from Emily that her father moved them to San Francisco to get away from him. Her father feared Joe was too impulsive and wild and didn't want them married, she attempted to write to Joe but her father found out and burnt the letter.

She later marries Wade McPhail in San Francisco and his job takes them to Virginia City.

Emily appears in town for ancient Egypt lecture that is being given and Joe spots her and they talk outside. Emily tricks Joe into revealing his feelings for her by not telling him she's married. They start to ride away when her husband, Wade McPhail stops him and they fight.

This is when Joe finds out that Emily is married. Emily refuses to wear her wedding ring and her husband Wade forces her to wear it.

Emily later goes to see Joe while he's patrolling the Ponderosa land, she tells Joe she wanted to know how he felt about her and that's why she never told him she was married, Joe wonders what else she's been keeping from her but she tells him there's nothing. Emily wants to run away with Joe and tells him she loves him, Joe tells her to go back to her husband and rides off. Emily rides off but not before hearing some shots and seeing Joe ride off in the direction they came from.

Later on having been rejected by Joe she treats Wade to his favourite meal and she's pleasant to him. Emily lies about where she was earlier in the day and Wade knows she is because he followed her. Fearing her husband Emily lies about what happened that morning and more or less puts Joe in the firing line for robbery and murder. However she's not privvy to what happened that day with Joe and therefore she lies even more about Joe wanting to take her away to New Orleans and buy a fine house with servants. She recounts the story to the Marshal and leads Wade to lose his badge since he keeps going about things in the wrong way.

Emily is visited by Ben who asks her why she lied and she tells him that she's said nothing that would hurt Joe but Ben tells her everything she has said has put Joe under suspicion of robbery and murder. He leaves after Wade comes home.

Emily's lies are revealed when she blames Wade for the robbery and murder which leads Wade to believe that if she knows Joe is innocent then she must have seen him when the shots were fired. They both head out to the crime scene where everyone involved is at and she tells everyone that she lied and that it was her that wanted to go away with Joe.

Emily tells Wade that she'll leave by the time he gets back to the house but he wants to start over and wants her to try, Emily tells her husband that she will try.


It is safe to assume that Emily was lying to Joe about her father taking her to San Francisco. By the way Wade spoke about her father it sounds like her father knew she was a handful. She tells Joe her father burnt a letter she wrote to him and she tells Wade that she burnt a letter Joe wrote to her. Her father told Wade that she needed a bit in the mouth and strong reins to control her. We also find out that her father had to be there at the wedding to make sure she wed Wade, this is probably because Wade and Little Joe are probably not the first ones to ask for her hand in marriage. Therefore to control her daughter her father made sure she married Wade by locking her in her room and standing by her elbows when she wed. Most likely the only truth she did tells was that she moved to San Francisco, anything after that should be considered make believe on Emily's part.