Henry Collins (official)

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Henry H. Collins Jr. (1905 – 1961) was an American citizen employed in the New Deal National Recovery Administration in the 1930s and later the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. He was a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Washington D.C. based Ware group, along with Alger Hiss, Lee Pressman, Harry Dexter White and others.


Collins was the Ware group's treasurer and collected communist party dues from its members. Collins also acted as a talent spotter and recruiter for Soviet intelligence. "Worthington Wiggins" is the pseudonym of a State Department employee Collins recruited. He later served as Director of the American Russian Institute in New York. J. Peters, head of the CPUSA's secret apparatus recognized that Collins, Hiss and Pressman had the potential for advancement within the United States government.[1]

In 1936 a decision was made to separate Collins from the larger Ware group, and Whittaker Chambers became Collins's contact with Peters. Former State Department official Laurence Duggan, shortly before his suicide, told the FBI that Collins had attempted to recruit him for Soviet espionage, with Duggan stating that "he wanted (me) to assist in furnishing information ... to the Soviets."[2]

Collins was also credited with recruiting Bela Gold into his CPUSA cell, a cell whose members included Edward Fitzgerald, who became a leading figure of the Perlo group.[citation needed]

Collins was a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Business School. He was also a childhood friend of Alger Hiss' in Baltimore.[3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-300-08462-5.
  • Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America - The Stalin Era (New York: Random House, 1999).
  • Alexander Vassiliev's original Russian notes titled "A.Gorsky's Report to Savchenko S.R., 23 December 1949", "Failures List".
  • Whittaker Chambers Testimony before HUAC 3 August 1948