Riding the rail
Riding the rail (also called being "run out of town on a rail") was a punishment most prevalent in 18th and 19th century America in which an offender was made to straddle a fence rail held on the shoulders of two or more bearers. The victim was then paraded around town or taken to the city limits and dumped by the roadside.
Being ridden on a rail was typically a form of extrajudicial punishment administered by a mob, sometimes in connection with tarring and feathering, intended to show community displeasure with the offender so they either conformed their behavior to the mob's demands or left the community.
In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? the Stokes character denounces the Soggy Bottom Boys as hostile to the social order, but the crowd is unimpressed and runs him out of town on a rail.
- Charivari in North America
- Tarring and feathering
- Warning out of town
- Wooden horse (device)
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