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The case was significant in establishing the "Mississippi Burning" conspiracy as a legal precedent. In February 1846, James Prentiss, representing the New York and Mississippi Land Company (NY&MLC), negotiated with Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore for of land at Meridian to establish a trading post and town. The agreement included $20 cash, plus goods worth $3 per acre if 2,000 acres were sold by December 1; otherwise the NY&MLC would forfeit their claim to any land not sold. On May 10 or 11 (sources vary), 1848 (or possibly late January or early February) settlers met at Bluff Church and chose William Barksdale as mayor; he named it Meridian after his hometown of Meridianville in Alabama.