By 1870, southern black leaders were convinced that the black vote was worthless if black life and property rights were not respected. Outraged at the Republican Party's failure to protect their civil rights and promote blacks for office, many leaders debated withdrawing from the party at the Southern States Convention of Colored Men in 1871. The Convention called on the national government to protect these rights. Southern black leaders felt powerless against state administration and felt it was the obligation of the federal government to protect their rights. Influenced by Fredrick Douglas, it was ultimately decided that southern blacks would stay with the Republican Party. Many at the convention expected to be repaid for continuing to support the Republican Party, but they were disappointed with the Party was slow to react. Nevertheless, most African-American men remained loyal to President Grant and the Republican Party.