Very little is known about the life of Crispus Attucks other than the fact that he was a runaway slave and worked as a seaman before joining the Army. On March 5, 1770, Attucks became the first casualty of the American Revolution, the first to lose his life in the cause of American independence. British soldiers shot and killed him and four others in what became known as the Boston Massacre. The victims became instant martyrs and symbols of liberty.
He's been immortalized as "the first to defy, the first to die." In spite of the laws and customs regulating the burial of blacks, Attucks was buried in the Park Street Cemetery along with the other honored dead.