Leggett was a leader of the Loco-Foco movement in New York City in the 1830s and was an opponent of slavery.
Leggett argued, that the state "possesses no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair's-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property."
- Degler, Carl N. "The Locofocos: Urban ‘Agrarians’". Journal of Economic History (1956) 16: 322–333. in JSTOR
- Hofstadter, Richard. "William Leggett, Spokesman of Jacksonian Democracy," Political Science Quarterly Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec., 1943), pp. 581-594 in JSTOR
- Trimble, William. "The Social Philosophy of the Loco-Foco Democracy," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 26, No. 6 (May, 1921), pp. 705-715 in JSTOR