Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ATHERTON, Charles Gordon, senator, born in Amherst, New Hampshire, 4 July 1804; died in Manchester, New Hampshire, 15 November 1853. He was graduated at Harvard in 1822, and admitted to the bar in 1825. He practiced at first in Nashua and then in Dunstable. After being a democratic member of the legislature for five years, and for four years speaker of the house, he was elected to congress in 1837 and sat in the lower house until 1843. He introduced in 1838 the resolution, which remained in force until 1845, declaring that all bills or petitions, of whatever kind, on the subject of slavery, should be tabled without debate, and should not be taken again from the table. This was called "the Atherton gag." From 1843 to 1849 he was a senator from New Hampshire, and in 1852 he was again elected to the senate and served as chairman of the finance committee.
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