From “The Looker-On” column in Brooklyn Life, July 29, 1899:
Nothing concerning the newsboys’ boycott of the World and Journal has interested me so much as a glimpse of the personal side of “Race Track” Higgins, who is a prominent leader in the crusade against the newspapers mentioned. In company with a “mascot” and five other newsboys, he sat in the seat next to me on a Broadway care not long ago. Their incessant conversation revealed numerous amusing and pathetic phases of the strike. But it was when Higgins spoke that every word was worth listening to. He seems to be a born leader of boys, and may yet be of men. A characteristic feature are his eyes. They are dark and handsome, but there is in them a curious combination of defiance and tenderness. The latter was exemplified by his care of the “mascot” referred to. This was a long-haired and delicate-looking boy of four or five. Evidently it was his brother, but the tenderness with which he put one arm around the little chap while he emphasized his talks was almost motherly. Very likely behind that care there is a bit of life history that an occasional sad look in Higgins’s eyes suggests, but in no way reveals. Quite unconscious of the fact that a Brooklyn man was taking it all in, Higgins gave a very amusing account of a visit he paid to Mr. William Berri, and his reception by the latter. Evidently it was when Mr. Berri was president of the Bridge Commission, as the occasion of the visit was to ask permission to parade. Higgins also indulged in some interesting reminiscences of his associations with Mr. William C. Whitney, for whom he at one time—according to his story—rode horses.