"My father's side of the house," wrote Higgins, "came from the North of Ireland. My mother's side came from Germany. My mother died when I was seven years old. My father died a year or two after and I was left penniless and to shift for myself as best I could. I worked on a farm for a while for my victuals and clothes, then I got a few dollars per month, and finally went to the carpenter trade and worked at that until the Mexican War broke out."
"I was quietly seated on the little knoll and no enemy appeared to be near me except the frisky mosquito, but all of a sudden some wild animal appeared in the forks of the road. It looked to me to be about six feet long. I at once cocked my gun and the click of the lock attracted the attention of the animal as it squatted down and then in one bound leaped across the road and disappeared. I afterwards learned that the animal was a jaguar or American tiger."