Scarce unissued certificate for a lifetime membership in the American Colonization Society, 9 x 6.5, featuring an attractive engraved vignette with "Lux in Tenebris" seal, banana plant, and date palm, signed in the lower right in ink by Madison. In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, tack holes to top corners, repaired lower corner tips, and light toning from prior display. Established in 1816 by Dr. Robert Finley, the Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, commonly known as the American Colonization Society (ACS), advocated the migration of free African Americans to the continent of Africa. Madison endorsed colonization in the 1780s, and would later serve as president of the ACS from 1833 to 1836. In a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, dated February 1, 1830, Madison posited that such 'Outlets for the freed blacks are alone wanted for a rapid erasure of that blot from our Republican character.'
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.