Isaac Wright

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Isaac Wright was an American Quaker investor who established the first scheduled trans-Atlantic shipping service between New York and England, and was a president of City National Bank from 1827 to 1832.

Wright was born in East Norwich, Long Island on March 2, 1760 to John Wright, a blacksmith, and Phebe Seaman, the daughter of Thomas Seaman.[1] (An article in Harper's incorrectly identified him as English.)

In 1817 Isaac and his son William founded the Black Ball Line along with merchants Francis Thompson (who married Isaac's daughter Mary) 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, he lived at 38th Street and Third and walked back and forth between the South Street Seaport.[2]

The advent of the schedule contributed heavily to New York becoming the dominant port in the United States.[3]

Wright speculated on cotton and ended up losing the company to Jeremiah Thompson.

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.[4][5]


Business positions
Preceded by
Thomas L. Smith
President of City National Bank
Succeeded by
Thomas Bloodgood