The Yokum Gang was a group of reputed thieves
and murderers who operated in the Neutral Groundqv
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.
Robert Bruce Blake
- Handbook of Texas Online, s.v.
(accessed March 3, 2008).
(NOTE: "s.v." stands for sub verbo, "under the word.")
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