Thomas Corwin Mendenhall was an American self-taught physicist. Raised in rural Ohio, he left his humble Quaker roots behind and lived an exciting, adventurous life that took him across the globe. In 1873 he became the first professor hired to work at the new Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He was enlisted by the Japanese government in 1878 to teach physics at Tokyo Imperial University in Tokyo, Japan. There he helped spread modern science to the previously closed-off country. In 1889 he was appointed head of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Under his supervision the official boundary line between the new state of Alaska and Canada was made. These autobiographical notes were written by Thomas Corwin Mendenhall from 1901-1908.