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|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 1st district
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1849
|Preceded by||Francis Mallory|
|Succeeded by||John Millson|
|Member of the Virginia Senate from Isle of Wight, Prince George, Southampton, Surry and Sussex Counties|
|Preceded by||Joel Holleman|
|Succeeded by||William Spark|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Isle of Wight County|
|Preceded by||John Chapman|
|Succeeded by||James Jordon|
Alongside John Lawrence
|Born||September 15, 1792|
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
|Died||January 7, 1872 (aged 79)|
|Alma mater||College of William and Mary|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Battles/wars||War of 1812|
Born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, Atkinson received a liberal education. He attended the law department of the College of William & Mary (now the Marshall-Wythe School of Law), Williamsburg, Virginia. He served during the War of 1812. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Smithfield, Virginia. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates 1815–1817 and 1828–1831, and served in the Virginia Senate 1839–1843.
Atkinson was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1849). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1848 to the Thirty-first Congress. In a valedictory speech to Congress in 1849, he described slavery as a "positive moral good" for those enslaved, claimed that the "well-fed, well-clad, contented negro of Virginia asks not your sympathy for him," and falsely claimed that slaves would rise up against abolitionists.
He served as prosecuting attorney for Isle of Wight County. He died in Smithfield, Virginia, on January 7, 1872. He was interred in the graveyard of Old St. Luke's Church, four miles southeast of Smithfield.
- 1841; Atkinson lost his first election for the U.S. House of Representatives; he was defeated by Whig Francis Mallory, winning only 11.26% of the vote.
- 1843; Atkinson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 50.07% of the vote, defeating Whig James E. Langhorne.
- 1845; Atkinson was re-elected with 55.9% of the vote, defeating Whig R.H. Whitfield.
- 1847; Atkinson was re-elected with 50.82% of the vote, defeating Whig Samuel Watts.
- United States Congress. "Archibald Atkinson (id: A000328)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.