Sha is on solid ground in arguing that the imagination was of pressing interest to medical writers at the time, given the cures ascribed to mesmerism and the "tractors" promoted by Elisha Perkins
. Coleridge was well aware of the debate concerning the role of imagination in these purported cures, and had also participated in Davy's trials of another controversial therapy: nitrous oxide.
The tractors had been invented by his father, Elisha Perkins
of Connecticut, and were supposed to relieve pain and other symptoms through the agency of animal magnetism' James Gillray satirising Napoleon Bonaparte baking a new batch of kings' John Tenniel's 'Blind Man's Buff' Punch cartoon of 1888, criticising the police's alleged incompetence in tracking down Jack the Ripper' The Military Adventures of Johnny Newcome, with an account of his Campaigns on the Peninsula and in Pall Mall: with Sketches by Thomas Rowlandson (1816) Pictured here Johnny learns "to smoke and drink grog"
(1803), on Elisha Perkins
's healing by "metallic tractors"; Original Poems (1804), including "The Country Lovers"; and Democracy Unveiled (1805), attacking Jefferson and other anti-Federalists.