She crossed into Pennsylvania with a feeling of relief and awe, and recalled the experience years later:
"When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven." Soon after Harriet reached Philadelphia, she began thinking of her family. "I was a stranger in a strange land," she said later. "[M]y father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were [in Maryland]. But I was free, and they should be free." She began to work odd jobs and save money. Then she met William Still, the son of manumitted slaves.
Still, born in freedom, began his career as a clerk working for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. When Philadelphia abolitionists organized a committee to aid fugitive slaves who reached Philadelphia, Still became its chairman. By the 1850s, Still was a leader of Philadelphia's African-American community. One of the main reasons we know of Harriet Tubman is because of the work of Still. Often called "The Father of the Underground Railroad," Still was responsible for helping as many as 800 slaves escape to freedom through his network, interviewing each person and keeping careful records, including a brief biography and the destination of each person, along with any alias that they adopted, though he kept his records carefully hidden. Still worked with other Underground Railroad agents operating in the south and in many counties in southern Pennsylvania. His network to freedom also included agents in New Jersey, New York, New England and Canada. Harriet Tubman was part of his network and after the Civil War, Still published the secret notes he’d kept in diaries during those years, in his book entitled, The Underground Railroad. The book is a source of many historical details of the workings of the Underground Railroad, and includes Tubman's exploits, as well as others.
Still realized Harriet longed for her love ones, and that she wanted them to enjoy freedom too. He enlisted Harriet's services to be a conductor on his network of the Underground Railroad. The rest is history: She would return more than thirteen times to rescue more than 70 slaves (for this feat alone, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison named Harriet, “Moses”); she helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry; worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy; was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, guiding the Combahee River Raid, which liberated more than 700 slaves in South Carolina; she became active in the women's suffrage movement after the war; and near the end of her life, she lived in a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped found years earlier. What an incredibly amazing life!!! And one of the most amazing things about her life is that she lived to tell about it. She died at the age of 93. Damn! Harriet Tubman, my hero (or sheroe, if you like).