Named for French general Marshal André Masséna, the Society was founded in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, by Donald D. Horward, Professor Emeritus of History, Florida State University, after discussions with the current Prince d’Essling and duc de Rivoli Victor-André Masséna, descendent of Marshal Masséna. Dr. Horward dedicated his career to studying Masséna, mentoring graduate students and promoting Napoleonic scholarship at Florida State and elsewhere, particularly at institutions educating military officers.
From that start, the Masséna Society has grown to more than 200 members from many countries, including the United States, France, Great Britain, Portugal, and Spain. Formally incorporated in 2013, the Society focuses on mentoring graduate students in Napoleonic and Revolutionary diplomatic, political, and military history. The Masséna Society is unaffiliated with any university or institution. Membership is by invitation, and the Society’s activities are supported by donations.