Madison is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 15,845, reflecting a drop in population of 685 (−4.1%) from the 16,530 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 680 (+4.3%) from the 15,850 counted in the 1990 Census. It is known as "The Rose City".
Native Americans occupied the areas that would become New Jersey and Madison following the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier for many thousands of years. Settlements of the Lenape were agriculturally-based following matrilineal lines. Occupation changed with the seasons, the variable nature of the climate, and to preserve the fertility of the rich soil. Their fishing and hunting territories were wide-ranging and similarly divided among the three clans of the matrilineal culture in this Eastern Woodland environment. Trade with these native peoples for food and furs was conducted by the Dutch during the period of colonization of New Netherland. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required their colonists to purchase land that they settled, but typically, trading relationships were established in this area, rather than Dutch settlements.
During the British colonial period, the earliest settlers of European descent arrived in this portion of the colony of New Jersey. Traditional native trails and pathways were followed as settlement began. Pressures upon the Lenape constantly drove them westward. About 1715 the village of Bottle Hill was established at the crossing of Ridgedale Avenue and Kings Road. Village governance principles followed the British model. The Luke Miller house at 105 Ridgedale Avenue is thought to be the oldest remaining home, having been built around 1730. During British colonial rule, Kings Road was a toll road that assessed fees levied by the government appointed by the English king. Farther south was the Shunpike, a road with a parallel path that was used deliberately by colonists to avoid the fees.
Morris County, created in 1739, was divided into three townships. The portion of the village north of Kings Road was put under the governance of Hanover Township and the portion to the south, under the governance of Morris Township. A meeting house for the Presbyterian Church of South Hanover, as Madison was called at that time, was started in 1747 where the Presbyterian Cemetery still exists between Kings Road and Madison Avenue. With the Treaty of Easton in 1758, the Lenape were required to vacate their lands in colonial New Jersey and to move westward. Later, their leaders allied with the colonists during the American Revolutionary War in hopes of regaining former lands, but that was never realized.
In 1834, the name of the settlement was changed to Madison. On December 27, 1889, based on the results of a referendum passed on December 24, 1889, the village seceded from Chatham Township and adopted the newly created, borough form of government (when it first became available), in order to develop a local water supply system for its population of 3,250. Madison annexed additional portions of Chatham Township in 1891, and again each year from 1894–1898, which was followed by an exchange of certain lands in 1899 with Chatham Township.