Drew, the son of a Baptist deacon, worked as a shipwright and also fought against slavery with abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. In addition to being a very fine marine painter, he worked as an art dealer and shipcarver. His paintings contain a unique power and mood, often employing a dramatic background with storm swept seas.
Although he painted from his home and studio in Boston, he is known to have traveled extensively throughout America from Newfoundland to Cape Horn and up the west coast to San Francisco, creating attractive views of early American seafaring on this continent, that also offer significant historical importance.
Clement drew was one of the few American-born painters working during this interesting period of American marine art (1806-1889). His works today command continually increasing prices based on modern interest in their historical significance and their strong appeal to collectors of powerful and dramatic marine paintings.