During his remarkable lifetime, Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) served his country in many capacities — among them, as President of the United States. But ultimately, this great and talented man — an accomplished architect, naturalist, and linguist — wished to be remembered primarily as the author of the Declaration of Independence. In his autobiography, begun in 1821 at the age of 77, Jefferson presents a detailed account of his young life and the period during which he wrote the Declaration. A first draft of the document is included in this edition, as are his comments on the Articles of Confederation, his experiences as a wartime governor of Virginia, minister to France and observations during the French Revolution. Also featured here are rich remembrances and insights as Jefferson recalls his roles as Washington's secretary of state and vice president under John Adams, and his life in retirement. Fascinating as a trove of firsthand recollections by a pillar of American democracy, this highly recommended volume will be welcomed by students, scholars, and any reader interested in American history.