Dr. Jean Batiste Marchisi was born in 1789 in Carmagnola (near Turin), Piedmont, Italy. He was a pioneer, inventor, sergeant, druggist, fireman, & poet.
His father sent him to Turin, Italy, after some schooling, as apprentice under Dr. Arthur Mueller. From the age of 14 -18th year, he worked at his Apothecary. He enlisted in the French Army, serving 3 years & 5 months. He ranked paymaster’s sergeant. Commanded under Napoleon’s Army, crossed the Alps from France through St. Bernard Pass. In 1809, he was aboard a French frigate, which came under a storm & he was captured by British forces and taken to Ft. Messina, Island of Sicily. Given the choice of prison or changing forces, he joined the British Army that sent him to Ft. George, south of Kingston, Canada. There he was yet involved in another War, of 1812, which American Forces had taken Ft. George. Because of excellent penmanship, intelligence & ability to speak 7 languages fluently, Marchisi was never asked to bear arms.
In 1815 he came to Utica, NY and is believed to be the first immigrant of Italian descent. He began working in the office of Dr. Amos G. Hull, where he worked for 10 years. He had compounded many prescriptions there, including an ointment developed back in Italy, that he used on Napoleon’s troops, in France, Russia, Canada, and Utica, NY. He later sold it in tin boxes labeled, “Dr. Marchisi’s Pile Ointment.” His fame came with the discovery of Catholicon, pat. in 1850. The Catholicon was widely used as a medicine for female uterine disturbances. He sold the formula 1878 for $10,000 to the firm of Howarth & Ballard, advertised in about 1,300 newspapers US & Europe.
* Info used from a memorial on Dr. Marchisi