Harriet was given a piece of paper by a white abolitionist neighbor with two names, and told how to find the first house on her path to freedom. At the first house she was put into a wagon, covered with a sack, and driven to her next destination. and kind enough to give her directions to safe houses and names of people who would help her cross the Mason-Dixon line. She then hitched a ride with a woman and her husband who were passing by. They were abolitionists and took her to Philadelphia. Here, Harriet got a job where she saved her pay to help free slaves. She also met William Still. Still was one of the Underground Railroad's busiest "station masters."
It is said that Henry "Box" Brown, a slave, had himself nailed in a wooden box and mailed by real train from Richmond to William Still in Philadelphia.] He was a freeborn black Pennsylvanian who could read and write. He used these talents to interview runaway slaves and record their names and stories in a book. He hoped that in the future, family's could trace their relations using this book. Still published the book in 1872 under the title The Underground Railroad where describes many of Tubman's efforts. It is still published today.
With the assistance of Still, and other members of the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society, she learned about the workings of the Underground Railroad (click for details). In 1850, Harriet helped her first slaves escape to the North. She sent a message to her sister's oldest son that said for her sister and family to board a fishing boat in Cambridge. This boat would sail up the Chesapeake Bay where they would meet Harriet in Bodkin's Point. When they got to Bodkin's Point, Harriet guided them from safehouse to safehouse in Pennsylvania (which was a free state) until they reached Philadelphia.