Along with his son William he founded the Black Ball Line in 1817 along with merchants Francis Thompson and Benjamin Marshall. The line which had ships sailing once a month between New York City and Liverpool was the first regularly scheduled shipping route in the United States. At the time ships sailed when they . Its ships had a black ball on a red background. At the time he live at 38th Street and Third and walked back and forth between the South Street Seaport.
The advent of the schedule contributed heavily to New York becoming the dominant port in the United States.
In 1825 he was among the new owners of City National Bank. Other Quaker merchants at the bank were William W. Fox who would later be president of New York Gas Light Company and Black Ball founder Benjamin Marshall 
- Important American periodical dating back to 1850 Harper's Magazine Published by Harper's Magazine Co., 1892
- 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York by Clifton Hood The Johns Hopkins University Press (July 13, 2004) ISBN 0-8018-8054-8
Thomas L. Smith
|President of City National Bank