2. When a pirate promises that he will free a captive "upon his honor" if the captive serves the pirate for three months, it might do the captive good to remember that a pirate's honor might be as good as his job history.
Source: The History of the Buccaneers of America. (Free on Google books in several different versions. The author is Alexandre Exquemerling. I believe the accuracy of this book has been disputed by...a pirate.)
3. Blackbeard would have had his own cosmetics case if he'd thought it would have made him look more ferocious. The pirate sported burning coils of rope either under his hat ,or in his beard.
I could see him trying it once. Burning hemp on your head would get a little warm. A smoking beard might obstruct vision. I'm thinking he might have tried it just enough to get the stories started.
For an easy read written for the young audience but worth a look at any age, check out: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pirates/bbeard.html
Photo above from fotolia.com.