Gold Rush Evangelist’s Quest: The Perpetual Pursuit Published by Outskirts Press

Ernest R. Tufft provides a unique view of the 19th century California gold rush in this true chronicle of Reverend William Mosher, an innocent, but intrepid evangelist catering to the needs of rough and tumble men in dirty, impromptu mining camps.

Vacaville, CA, November 24, 2011 --( Author and historian Ernest R. Tufft announced today the release of The Perpetual Pursuit, One Man’s Odyssey on the Gold Trail, published by Outskirts Press. This true story is based on the thirty year daily journal of William Collins Mosher and his struggle to transform himself from a New York state teacher of the classics to a missionary evangelist fulfilling the needs he perceived Gold Rush miners had in the turbulent culture of a nascent California.

When Mosher first read in a New York Times article of the gold being found in California, he knew that help was urgently needed to bring some civility to that frontier mining culture. Unsure, though, of what he could offer as a teacher of the classics, he enrolled in Princeton Seminary to fulfill what was becoming his newly discovered role as a traveling missionary evangelist.

“I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith” (II Tim. 4-7). Taking to heart these words of an earlier disciple, the now Reverend Mosher set out on what would become an eleven thousand mile odyssey ministering to the needs of a motley collection of prospectors trying to fulfill their own dreams for gold and adventure. Mosher visited forty-seven different frontier towns and thirty different gold mines in his California journeys besides traveling -- in a series of odd career choices -- to multiple congregations in Michigan, New York and Georgia.

Always restless, never staying put for more than a year or two in one place, Mosher kept a record of all the fascinating characters he met and all the improbable adventures he had as he pursued his calling. His journal itself is now located in the archives of the San Marino, CA, Huntington Library, and Tufft has done a remarkable job fashioning Mosher’s notes as an enjoyable peek into the heart of a humble, intrepid man who never allowed discouragement or failure to undermine his missionary quest.

The Perpetual Pursuit is available on-line in paperback through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and at for a maximum trade discount in quantities of ten or more.

Format: 5.5 x 8.5 paperback white ISBN: 978-1-4327-7188-1 SRP: $16.95
Genre: History/United States/19th Century/social science

About the author:
Ernest R. Tufft has distinguished himself in dual careers as a Presbyterian clergyman and a licensed mental health professional. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Columbia Theological Seminary of Decatur, Georgia, Mr. Tufft has centered his professional life on helping the individual to grasp a better self-understanding and to seek his life’s potential.

For more information or to contact the author, visit

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Kelly Schuknecht