The Yokum Gang was a group of reputed thieves and murderers who operated in the Neutral Ground between Louisiana and Spanish Texas in the early 1820s. Susan Callier (Collier), daughter of Robert Callier, who settled east of San Augustine in 1822, favored as a suitor, Matthew Yokum, a member of the gang; but her father ordered Yokum never to return to the Callier home and persuaded his daughter to marry Charles Chandler. Susan's uncle, James Callier, married a Yokum sister and became a member of the gang. James Callier and Matthew Yokum then killed Robert Callier and started to San Augustine to murder Charles Chandler, but Chandler, aided by a slave who was killed in the encounter, killed both his assailants. Other members of the gang then murdered a Louisiana citizen and seized his African-American wife and mulatto children to sell as slaves in Texas, but David Renfro and his neighbors drove the gang out of the country and returned the woman and her children to Louisiana. The gang fled to Pine Island Bayou in the area of present Jefferson County and resumed their practices of robbery and murder until neighboring citizens hung Thomas Yokum and dispersed the remainder of the group.
Support Texas History Now
Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.
- Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
- Gangs and Criminal Organizations
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Robert Bruce Blake, “Yokum Gang,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/yokum-gang.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.