JOHN GILL SHORTER was born in Monticello, Georgia, on April 23, 1818. His parents, Dr. Reuben and Mary Shorter, moved their family to Eufaula, Alabama, in 1833. In 1837 he graduated from the University of Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1838 and started a private practice with his brother Eli. Shorter was appointed solicitor of the Eufaula judicial district in 1842, served in the Alabama Senate in 1845, and the Alabama House in 1851. He also was appointed a circuit court judge in 1852, and continued in this office for nine years. He was appointed a commissioner from Alabama to the Georgia secession convention in 1861, and he was a member of the 1861 provisional Confederate Congress. Shorter was elected Alabama’s 17th governor on August 5, 1861, and was sworn into office on December 2, 1861. During his term, he was devoted to dealing with problems and issues of the Civil War, as well as Alabama’s relationship with the Confederate government. His administration was spent fortifying Mobile; raising arms and troops for the home front; slave impressments; military training; and desertion, food supplies, and financing the war. Shorter was defeated in his bid for reelection due to the unsuccessful war and an anti-Democratic party sentiment. He left office on December 1, 1863, and returned to his law practice in Eufaula. Shorter died on May 29, 1872, and is buried in the Shorter Cemetery, Eufaula, Alabama.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.