Jean Bessac Chapter was organized October 25, 1939 in Alma,
Michigan. It was named for Jean Guilliame Bessac, ancestor of the
Chapter's first regent, Miss Lou Nickerson.
Since its beginning the Jean Bessac Chapter has been active in
patriotic and youth causes. Pledge of Allegiance cards and flags
were distributed to Boy Scouts, local schools, and newly
naturalized citizens. Manuals for citizenship were distributed at
citizenship classes given by a member. The Chapter has sponsored
many 12th grade Good Citizens who have become State runners-up.
Chapter members have also worked with Junior American Citizen and
History contest contestants. Many honors and winners have resulted.
In 1963, the Jean Torrance Chapter of Ithaca disbanded and several
members of the chapter joined Jean Bessac Chapter. In 1987, Steven
Thompson Mason Chapter of Ionia disbanded and we received additional
transferees. A 50-Year birthday celebration was held in 1989. Jean
Bessac Chapter looks forward to future service and our members are
proud to be Daughters.
Jean Guilliame Bessac (1760 - 1824)
This young Frenchman came to America in 1779, at the age of 19, and
with his brother set up a mercantile business in Jersey City. When
the French fleet arrived with a body of land forces under Count
Rochambeau, Jean Bessac was commissioned as Assistant Surgeon and
was attached to the staff of the Count. In this post he made good
use of medical skills acquired in his earlier years of training, and
he also gave freely of his personal fortune in the cause of American
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