My husband and I have been watching an American miniseries from 1978 on DVD called Centennial, starring Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, and Richard Crenna, among others. It's really great and gives the viewer an idea of what life was like in 18th Century America for whites, Indians, and so-called "half-breeds." I highly recommend it.
Richard Crenna plays the role of ruthless Frank Skimmerhorn, which I found out is a character loosely based on a real U.S. Army officer named John Chivington. To make a long story short, Skimmerhorn comes to Colorado in the mid-1860's and orders the brutal slaughter of innocent Indians, from the oldest to the very youngest.
When Skimmerhorn first comes to town, he meets some resistance from other white members of the U.S. Army who are on good terms with the Indians and hesistant to disturb the fragile peace. Interestingly, Skimmerhorn defends the extermination of the Indians by asking his men whether they've ever heard of "Lamanites," and talks about them "being cursed with a dark skin," etc. He then admonishes them to read their Bibles.
There is no mention of the word "Mormon" or "Book of Mormon." Just the Bible. Skimmerhorn is mentioned to be from Minnesota and he acts like a very pious, religious man who "talks to God," while at the same time he murders "Lamanites" left and right. He's the type of guy that makes your skin crawl and Crenna plays him well.
So does anyone know whether the term "Lamanite" is purely Mormon?