On July 4, 1875, Republican Congressman John Mercer Langston delivered a speech during an Independence Day celebration at Hillsdale near Washington, D.C. He appeared with Frederick Douglass.
During his speech Langston said, “Self-respect presupposes self-reliance. Do we respect ourselves? Then we are self-reliant. These two qualities a…re necessary, yes, indispensible to a people who would successfully work the machinery of civil government, and thereby lift themselves into higher forms of independent manhood. Are we prepared to govern ourselves, or do we need to be flanked white-men, the self-constituted guardians of the negro? These are the questions that we discuss today.”