Madison was selected as the capitol of the newly created Wisconsin Territory in November, 1836, when the city was still in the planning stages. Former federal judge James Duane Doty purchased the land earlier that year, and platted two cities on the more than one thousand acre parcel he had purchased. While Doty lobbied aggressively to have his new city selected as the capitol of the territory, it was the location of the proposed city that brought about the decision, being halfway between Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien, and central to northeastern Green Bay and the lead mining regions in the southwest. He named one of the platted cities Madison, after President James Madison who had only recently died, on June 28, 1836. He also gave the streets of Madison the names of the other 39 signers of the constitution.
The first capitol building was built in 1837. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, Madison remained its capitol. The original capitol building was replaced in 1863.
Railroads began to be built in Wisconsin in the 1840's.
The Railway Mail Service was a postal service that operated from the trains. Mail sorters actually rode the trains, day after day, processing the mail and forwarding it at the appropriate railroad stations.
This outline map of Wisconsin was published in 1882 by W.L. Nicholson. It shows cities, towns, counties, waterways, and clearly labeled railroad network of 1882.