A trading post, trading station, or trading house was a place or
establishment where the trading of goods took place; the term is
generally used, in modern parlance, in reference to such
establishments in historic Northern America, although the practice
long predates that continent's colonization by Europeans. The
preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was
known as a trade route.
Trading posts were also places for people to meet and exchange the
news of the world or simply the news from their home country (many of
the world's trading posts were located in places which were popular
destinations for emigration) in a time when not even newspapers
European colonialism traces its roots to ancient Carthage. Originally
a trading settlement of Phoenician colonists, Carthage grew into a
vast economic and political power throughout the Mediterranean,
accumulating wealth and influence through its economic (trading)
prowess. Numerous cities of importance once started their history as
trading posts: Venice, New York City, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong,
Naples, Rotterdam, Kansas City, etc.
The annexation an trading posts along ancient trade routes took place
in the 16th and 17th century by European powers like the Dutch and
English. It began with the capture of Ceuta (a terminus of the
trans-Saharan trade route) by the Portuguese in 1415. They went on to
establish further enclaves as they explored the coasts of Africa,
Arabia, India and South East Asia in search of the source of the
lucrative spice trade. Trading posts were also very common in the
early settlements of
Canada and the
United States for the trade of
such things as fur. They were also used in many camps across the
United States as places to buy snacks, items and souvenirs.
Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company set up trading posts around
Hudson Bay during
the fur trade. Goods were traded for beaver pelts amongst the
Europeans and the Native Americans. In the
United States in the early
19th century, trading posts used by Native Americans were licensed by
the federal government and called "factories". Tribes were to concede
substantial territory to the
United States in order to access the
"factories" as happened at Fort Clark in the
Treaty of Fort Clark
Treaty of Fort Clark in
Osage Nation conceded most of
Missouri in order to access
the trading post.
In the context of Scouting, trading post usually refers to a camp
store where snacks, craft materials and general merchandise are sold.
A "trading post" can also be referred to as the place where securities
listed on the
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange are traded (bought and sold).
In recent years, many people have developed their own trading posts
such as the Front Range Trading Post in Lobsterfest Springs, CO.
Trades include handmade and hand grown/raised items, baked goods and
more. Cash is not accepted, only bartering is allowed.
Trading Post Outreach program has been established since 1995, where
founder Linette Crelly began to host "trading swaps" where parents of
children could gather to "swap or exchange" clothing, infant items,
and toys. This idea blossomed and by 2004 had grown to become a 4,000
sq. ft. community care center in Springville, New York.