I recognized the surname from my research for Buffalo, NY.
I don't know if there's a connection.
William Shorter (b. 1812-1817 PA)
cook, at Dr. Jenkins' Brown Street, Rochester NY
Ward 1, 1850, Buffalo
William Shorter, (1817) 39, b. PA, in Buffalo two years, not able to read/write
Polly Shorter, 1821,, b. NJ, in Buffalo two years
Henrietta Shorter, 10, b. Monroe county NY, in Buffalo two years
George 1855 b. Buffalo
Shorter(s) are living in the household of
Henry Williams, 30, born Saratoga NY, in Buffalo 5 yrs
Mary, 31, born Monroe county NY, in Buffalo five years
Mary Jane, 4, daughter, born Erie county NY
Sarah Hill, age 37, servant, widowed, born NJ
1855 NYS census
Samuel Shorter, 23/26? Working in hotel
1860 Ward 3, Buffalo
William Shorter, 47, 1812 PA, B
Polly, 38, 1821 NJ, B
George, 4, 1855, NY (Buffalo), B
Peter Hughes, 8, 1851 OH, Mulatto
Grace Hughes, 2, 1857, NY, mulatto
(In and around MD-born people, such as Henry Trasker)
1865 NYS census
Buffalo, Ward 5
William Shorter, age 50 (1815) b. PA, married 1x, black
Polly Shorter, age ? black, born Monroe county NY
Henrietta Shorter, age 18 (1847), single, black
George Shorter, age 9 (1856) born Buffalo, black
Rochester Republican Sept 28, 1848
HORRID MURDER IN BUFFALO
A revolting murder was committed in Buffalo on Tuesday night about 11 o'clock. A gentleman named BUSH was returning home from the Theatre with a friend, and as they passed a couple of negroes, one of the two happened to remark that "the negro character was not played as well as the other," referring to the characters in the play at the theatre. The negroes immediately turned upon them and asked what they were saying about the darkies. A quarrel ensued, when one of them named SHORTER, drew a dirk and stabbed BUSH five times in the abdomen, letting out his intestines, and producing almost instant death. The negro then walked quietly to his residence, and went to sleep. He was afterwards arrested, and the feeling was so strong against him, amongst the friends of the murdered man, that he was brought out for examination Wednesday morning, it was difficult keeping the crowd from administering summary justice on the spot.
Buffalo, NY, Ward 4
William (1812, PA, mulatto)
Pearline (Mary Ann?) (1828 NY, mulatto)
George (1858, NY, mulatto)
William (1817, PA, black)
Mary Ann (1824 NY, black)
George T (1857, black)
Also a Shorts (could be mis-transcribed) family
Jeremiah, 1824, Canada (1850 census for Buffalo)
Martha, 1826 NY
Agnes 1850 NY
Civil War (scroll down, John Shorter, member of the MASS 55th Regiment "Colored Troops", formed after the MASS 54th filled up. John Shorter, wounded
ITEM #62492 December 31, 1864 THE CHRISTIAN RECORDER
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [from Accessible Archives, subscription]
LETTER FROM THE SOUTH.
List of Killed and Wounded in the Fifty-Fifth Massachusetts, One Hundred and Second U.S.C.T., Thirty-fifth and Thirty-second U.S.C.T., and Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Vols.
...I send herewith a partial list of killed and wounded:
55TH MASS. VOLS.
Wounded - 1st Lieut. Joseph Reid, reported killed; Corp'l Wm. A. Cunningham, Corporal T. Hill Harris, Aaron Cummings, Samuel Duncan, Stephen Franklin, Geo. Reynolds,
John Shorter, Lewis L. Simpson.
Freedman's Bureau Records, online
Charles Waters m. Martha Short. Original marriage date: 1855. Former residence: Charles County, Maryland. Ten children.
Office of the Asst. Superintendent of Marriages.
June 29, 1867
Rev. John Kimball, Superintendent of Marriages, District of Columbia
I have the honor to submit the following report of "Marriage Certificates" issued by me during the month of June, 1867.
Respectfully, Rev. W. Wright, Asst. Supt. Marriages.