New York Tribune, Tuesday, 25 July 1922 reported the following:
Inventor of Ukulele is Dead
White Man Brought Instrument to Hawaii, it is disclosed
Honolulu, T.H. July 24 (by associated press) — Manuel Nunes, inventor of the ukulele, died at his home here of heart disease after a long illness. His death brought to light that, contrary to general belief, the ukulele was known to the Hawaiians only after the advent of the white man.
Nunes was born in Funchal, Madeira, in 1843, and came to the islands in 1878. The following year he fashioned a rude, guitar-like instrument with a cigar box and a few strings. It was from this that the ukulele of today was evolved.
What a sad bit of reporting from the NYT.