John Gardner is first listed in the records at San Quentin as prisoner #840. He was received on February 27, 1856 and was described as a 39 year old laborer, born in Iowa, with a defective right eye, a scar on his right shoulder and a mole on his back. He was sentenced to 10 years for "crime against nature". He was five feet, 9.5 inches tall with a dark complexion and light colored eyes and hair. He arrived from Nevada County. On the same day, and from the same place, prison #841 arrived under the charge of Rape and was sentenced to 21 years. It's possible that the crimes may have been related as they clearly came in together. This prisoner was named Thomas Rogers, a 42 year old laborer born in Pennsylvania with a scar on the inside of his left arm and moles (plural) on his back. He was five feet, 8.5 inches tall with a dark complexion, light colored eyes and dark hair.
When the 1860 federal census was taken he was included as an inmate at San Quentin. Age 43, laborer from Iowa, for "crime against nature".
John Gardner was pardoned on July 25, 1861 and Thomas Rogers was pardoned May 23, 1868.