Benjamin Atherton was born December 9, 1736, at Lancaster, Massachusetts. As a young man, he enlisted in the British Army, sailed from Boston in 1755 on the sloop "Victoria", and served for a year in Nova Scotia under Colonel Winslow. According to Lilian Maxwell's History of Central New Brunswick, Lieutenant Benjamin Atherton took part in the expulsion of the Acadians.
In 1769, Atherton arrived in Saint John and became a fur trader with the firm of Simonds, Hazen, and White of Portland Point. Atherton was placed as manager of a truck-house at St. Anne's Point, in competition with John Anderson, who was established at the mouth of the Nashwaak River. He refused to join the rebel movement in Maugerville during the American Revolution. After the War, he served as Clerk of the Peace, Registrar, and later coroner for Sunbury County. In 1788, Governor Carleton purchased land from Atherton as part of the property for Government House--land that Atherton had owned for almost twenty years. Atherton died July 17, 1816, at Prince William, York County.