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Madison, Wisconsin

City: Madison

County: Dane

State: Wisconsin

Lat/Long: 43.0667, -89.4000

Situated on an isthmus and land surrounded by four lakes, Madison is the county seat of Dane County and capital of Wisconsin. Native American tribes occupied the area until the 1820s, when white settlers began arriving. In 1829, James D. Doty purchased over a thousand acres in the region with an idea of building a city. Doty named his proposed city for President James Madison. When Congress created the Wisconsin Territory in 1836, Doty convinced the Territorial Legislature to locate the capital in his still-unbuilt city. The Wisconsin Territorial Legislature began meeting in Madison in 1838, and in 1846, the Legislature incorporated Madison as a village. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, Madison remained the capital, and in 1849, it became the location of the University of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Assembly incorporated Madison as a city in 1856. During the Civil War, Madison served as a training center for Union troops. It also was home to a military hospital and prisoner of war camp.

Daniel S. Durrie, A History of Madison, The Capital of Wisconsin; Including the Four Lake Country (Madison, WI: Atwood & Culver, 1874), 9-326.