About this Summer's Book
This summer, we are reading Pious Ambitions: Sally Merriam Wait's Mission South. Author Mary Tribble will join us for conversation.
A previously untold story of a nineteenth-century woman determined to make her mark on the world, Pious Ambitions reveals the remarkable life of Sarah (Sally) Merriam Wait, from a young Vermont woman struggling with faith to an aspiring missionary and minister’s wife. Sally’s unwavering mission to save souls plunged her into the power center of the Baptist denomination in Washington, D.C., and ultimately, despite her anti-slavery family’s admonitions, pulled her to the backroads of North Carolina to assist her husband in establishing what is now Wake Forest University.
Her journal was passed down carefully from generation to generation until it found its way in 1993 to the Special Collections and Archives at Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, along with a large cache of letters and other documents. In examining this trove and reconstructing the life of Wait, Mary Tribble provides a rare glimpse into the spiritual education of a young woman who nevertheless successfully navigated the rise of capitalism in the market economy of the early nineteenth century.