First published in 1959, The Autobiography of James Monroe collects the compelling fragments of Monroe's unfinished autobiography, written after his retirement from the presidency. The memoirs trace his boyhood, education, and experiences during his long service as a public servant before becoming president.Monroe vividly recalls his military experience in the Revolution, his law studies at the College of William and Mary, and his service as aide to Governor Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. From the early days of his political career, Monroe writes with passion about his opposition to slavery and his support for the Western farmer. He discusses his controversial first mission to France as a young and inexperienced minister to a country in the throes of a revolution, as well as subsequent missions in which he served as the key negotiator with France for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.Originally edited by Stuart Gerry Brown, this new edition includes an introduction by historian and documentary editor William Ferraro. Ferraro considers the lasting influence of Brown's edition on Monroe scholarship and surveys the most recent research, detailing the ways this founding father's legacy continues to unfold.