You are right about him probably not knowing for sure about his beginnings. There was only the "lost at sea" story. How do we even know if that is true? You can't know for sure. Many of our family have tried to find naturalization papers with no luck. I have a hunch, he went back and forth across the border, and sorta lived both places. On some of the paperwork for land grants in Washington state, he says he was born in Canada, then he says he was natural born citizen on another. His wife says he was born in Quebec, but when asked on her paper work to finalize the land grant AFTER his death, she said he was born in the U.S.
My guess is he was born in Canada and never bothered with paper work. Life was so tough then, and in the area of Wa that they lived, it took all day, every day, just to keep the family fed. And I doubt he was a paper work kinda guy.
Thanks ,,, Keep your eyes open for my James please. Kay