Rum production in colonial New England was a key factor in the economy. As a matter of fact, it is even conceivable to say that rum was the basis for New England's entry into the textile industry. Without the money generated by New England's part in the triangular atlantic slave trade, many of the early textile mills would not have been financed. This is also due to the fact that there were very few slaves to be found in New England and without the slave labor industrialization would have been very difficult without the money generated from the trade of rum.
Rum productioin also played a large role in the shipbuilding industry of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Medford, Massachusetts was a particularly large center for ship building. The ships that were built in Medford at that time were used mainly for New England's participation in the triangle trade. The ships would set sail out of many ports in Massachusetts and Rhode Island including, Bristol, Newport, and Boston.
There were two form of rum that were produced
in colonial America. The first type was plain rum just as we know
it today and the second in know as tafia. Tafia was a by-product
of sugar production. This was primarily manufactured by the French
colonials and consumed mostly by the domestic market. The straight rum
that was produced in Massachusetts and Rhode Island was a of a high quality
and was used for personal consumption, trade and even as a form of currency
in some areas. The key ingredients in the production of rum are sugar
and molasses. Since colonial sugar production was far from efficient
it was one of the key items that was traded for as part of the triangle
trade along with molasses.