Blood was born in Temple, New Hampshire, the son of Ephraim Whiting and Lavinia (Ames) Blood. Due to his father's death on December 29, 1837, when he was a year and a half old, his childhood years were spent with his mother's family in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. When his mother remarried on February 9, 1842, he acquired a stepfather, Samphson Fletcher. He was educated at the New Ipswich Academy in New Ipswich, and Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1857. Afterwards he was a school teacher for a few years in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Paris, Tennessee.
About 1861 he moved to Washington, D.C., where he was employed for most of his adult life, to accept a clerkship in the Internal Revenue Department. After a short service there he was transferred to the Department of State, in the employ of which he long remained. He also worked for the Bureau of the Census and the Department of the Treasury.
As a young government worker in Washington, D.C., Blood was in the city at the time of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. His letters to his mother on the aftermath of the assassination and the trial of the conspirators were discovered in 2005 in one of the homes of Robert Todd Lincoln, and reveal an interesting impression of contemporary public sentiment concerning the events.
He was married twice, first, October 15, 1862, to Mary Jeannie Marshall, daughter of Orlando and Eliza Cunningham (Mansur) Marshall of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, and second, October 19, 1880, to Mary E. Miller, daughter of Col. Ephraim F. and Catherine (Seymour) Miller. From his second marriage he had one son, Royal Henry Blood, born July 29, 1884, who died young in 1892.
Blood died at his home in Washington, D.C. and was buried with his son in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. His widow married again after his death, on February 11, 1902, to Col. Royal E. Whitman. On August 7, 1905, during a visit by the Whitmans to Portland, Maine, Mary was stricken with apoplexy, dying peacefully on August 8. Her funeral was held August 10 in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. She bequeathed to the Public Library of New Ipswich $10,000 to establish The Henry Ames Blood and Royal Henry Blood Memorial Fund for the maintenance of the library, and another $10,000 to the town of Temple, New Hampshire, $8,000 for the erection of a schoolhouse, to be known as the "Henry Ames Blood and Mary Miller Blood School," and $2,000 for the care and maintenance of the town common. These bequests were to be paid after the death of Col. Whitman.
Blood's The History of Temple, N. H. (1860) is still considered an important resource for the history of that region.
His poetry was highly regarded and anthologized in his own day, when he was considered in the first rank of American poets, but has been dismissed as overly-sentimental by later critics. Among the periodicals and newspapers in which his verse appeared were Boston Advertiser, The Century Illustrated Magazine, Christian Union, Dollar Monthly Magazine, Flag of Our Union, Harper's Weekly, The Independent, The Knickerbocker Monthly, The Magazine of Poetry and Literary Review, New England Magazine, New York Observer, New York Post, New York Tribune, Scribner's Magazine, The Home Journal, and The Youth's Companion.
Blood's dramatic works appear never to have made much of an impression, either in his own lifetime or since. At least one of them (How Much I Loved Thee! (1884)) was published under the pseudonym of Raymond Eshobel, which is an anagram of the author's name.