Today it is known as Rum, but back in the days of the pirates and the sailors of the 1700's, it was called "Kill Devil". Kill Devil or rum was a commodity and would be traded for salted fish, pork, beef, timber and livestock. Very much a part of the "Triangular Trade" between the colonies, Africa and Barbados during the era.
During this period, distilleries were found at nearly every sugar plantation in the Caribbean. Kill Devil was readily available and could be found aboard nearly every vessel sailing on the ocean. Barbados rum seems to be the first to be called "kill devil", but the source of the name is really obscure. Most rums originated in the West Indies, Barbados in the middle 1600's , where they were called "kill devil" or "rumbullion". By 1667, they were simply called "rum",
American Colonists would buy slaves from Africa, and trade them for Molasses to make rum in New England, then trade the rum for more slaves. The "Triangular Trade" flourished for more that two centuries, but came to an end in the 1880's. Kill Devil was a valuable commodity and would be protected at all cost.
Kill Devil, or rum as we call it today has a very long and glorious history, between the Maritime History and on the land, it is a very refined spirit today compared to the unaged rugged spirit of the days when it was known as "Kill Devil".