1763 – 1820
Who was Antoine Saugrain?
Saugrain was educated in Paris as a physician and chemist by Antoine Fourcroy and Mathurin-Jacques Brisson. In 1783 he traveled to North America to serve as a mineralogist for Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent at New Orleans, where he was admitted to the practice of surgery. In 1787 Dr. Saugrain traveled to the United States bearing a letter of introduction to Benjamin Franklin. He became part of a scientific expedition to explore the Ohio River led by the botanist Picque in 1788. However, Saugrain was injured during an Indian raid and returned to France. Dr. Saugrain was soon forced to flee France because of his royalist beliefs at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789.
He returned to the United States and helped found a French émigré community at Gallipolis, Ohio. It was there that he married Genevieve Rosalie Michau on March 20, 1793. In 1799 the Saugrains moved to St. Louis. Dr. Saugrain was the city's only physician until the United States took possession of St. Louis following the Louisiana Purchase.
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