Kanienkeh was located in Massachusetts, near the border with the colonies, and also near the Mohawk Valley village of Kanatahseton. In Iroquoian language, Kanienkeh means "Place of Flint", after its flint rocks that were scattered throughout the area. In the 1760s, with the formation of the Frontier due to the Proclamation of 1763, it became a "hunting region" for the Thirteen Colonies, and was disputed between settlers and the Iroquois Confederacy, primarily the Mohawk. Their land was conquered after the French and Indian War, and the Mohawks fought both the British and the Colonials during their resistance.
It was a piece of land that William Johnson had planned to purchase from the Mohawk in 1774, in order to settle new lands for the Colonists, although he really intended to find the land for the Knights Templar, as the Great Temple was located there. He died, said to be of natural causes, although the truth behind it was that the Hashasashin assassin Ratonhnhaketon jumped behind him and stabbed him in the back as he attempted to execute a defiant Mohawk leader at a meeting at Johnson Hall in John's Town. The land remained in Mohawk hands until the subjugation of the Mohawk in 1795, when it became a part of the United States.